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Seared Scallops and Roasted Garden Veggies

06/25/2014 12:00AM ● By Lana Granfors
By Lana Granfors
Photo: Kara Stewart

Summer is finally upon us and my very favorite part of the warmer weather is that it means that my birthday is just around the corner!  Not really: It is that our garden is bursting with an ever-increasing assortment of home-grown goodies.
    Well, since I mentioned my birthday, let’s talk about celebration dinners. When I think of celebration menus, I want fresh and delicious. This year, it is seafood, fresh garden vegetables, and either pasta, quinoa or couscous as the side staple.
    There are many smart choices in seafood, including one of my own favorites: scallops. When it comes to seafood, sustainability is a huge issue and scallops are almost always a safe buy. Scallops are incredibly convenient as they cook in less than 5 minutes.  Yes, they are a little pricey, but this is a celebration menu, after all!
    Lastly, a note when purchasing scallops. Fresh scallops should be “dry,” which means they are shucked and frozen on the boat. Wet “preserved” means they are placed in water and preservatives and then frozen. With this process, wet ones will weigh more, costing you more money.   

Serves 4 - 6
Ingredients:
    ½     cup dry white wine
    ¼     cup chopped shallots
    3     T chilled butter, cut into small pieces
        Zest of 1 lemon 
    ¼     cup lemon juice
        Kosher salt
    1     medium zucchini
    1     medium yellow squash
    1     orange bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
    1     small red onion, cut into wedges
    2     T olive oil, divided
    1     pint cherry tomatoes
    3    garlic cloves, thinly sliced
        Salt and pepper
    1     T butter
    1 ½     lbs sea scallops (abductor muscle removed)
Garnish:
        Basil leaves, torn  
        Chives, chopped

Preparation

1 | Preheat oven to 400 degrees.   

2 | Combine wine and shallots in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook 6-10 minutes or until mixture is reduced by about half.  Gradually add butter, stirring with a whisk until smooth and blended. Stir in zest and 1/8 teaspoon salt; keep warm on very low burner.

3 | Cut zucchini and yellow squash in half lengthwise, and then cut into strips. Combine zucchini, squash, bell pepper, onion, and 1 tablespoon oil in the large bowl and toss to coat.       

4 | Arrange vegetable mixture onto baking pan. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 – 15 minutes. Carefully remove pan and add tomatoes and garlic and toss gently.  Bake for about 10 – 15 more minutes or until vegetables are lightly browned and tomatoes are collapsing.  Remove from oven; sprinkle with salt and black pepper.       

5 | While vegetables cook, heat a large cast-iron skillet over high heat. Pat scallops dry with paper towels. Sprinkle evenly with salt and black pepper. Add remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil tablespoon of butter to pan; swirl to coat and heat over high heat until foamy. Make sure the pan is hot as you want the scallops to sizzle right away. Add scallops to pan about 2 inches apart. It is important to cook apart as you do not want them to steam.  Cook 1 ½-2 minutes on each side or until scallops have a nice seared crust on one side, then flip them over and sear the other side. They should be opaque in the center. Serve scallops with vegetable mixture, tossed with the sauce and garnished with basil leaves and chives, with your favorite side, a crisp green salad and a chilled glass of your favorite white wine.     

Prep time: 20 mins; Cook Time: 25 – 35 mins





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