We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: Scallops should be at the top of your easy-yet-fancy dinner list. They take only a few minutes to cook and go with everything. Start with this recipe for seared scallops with citrus-shallot salad if you’re not yet convinced—it takes 20 minutes to make and tastes better than a restaurant dish. (Plus, it’s pretty healthy.)
The most important thing you need to know about searing scallops is that they should be as dry as possible before they go in the pan. Pat them well with paper towels before seasoning and cooking, and you’ll be rewarded with a caramelized, flavorful brown crust every time.
Seared Scallops with Citrus-Shallot Salad
Servings: 4 servings
3 medium oranges
1 small shallot, thinly sliced
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (from about 1 lime)
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 pound sea scallops
Fresh chopped chives and cilantro, to garnish
1. Use a knife to peel the rind and pith from the oranges, then slice them into thin rounds (about ¼-inch thick). Transfer to a small bowl, and combine with the shallot, olive oil, lime juice and crushed red pepper flakes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
2. Add the vegetable oil to a large skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium heat. Using paper towels, pat the scallops as dry as possible (this will help with browning), then season with salt. When the oil is shimmering, sauté the scallops until browned on one side, about 2 minutes, then flip and sauté the second side for about 2 minutes more.
3. To serve, divide the citrus salad (and its juices) among four plates, then top with the scallops, fresh chopped chives and cilantro.