Scallops can be tricky. Leave it over heat an extra few seconds and you get stuck with little balls of rubber. But when you cook them just right, you have a lovely, succulent treat. This classic French appetizer, also known as Saint Jacques Provencales, includes a light and tart but savory tomato sauce that complements the simply seasoned scallops.
Prep time: 5-10 minutes
Cook time: About 15 minutes
8 scallops (2 scallops per serving)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1.5 shallots, finely chopped (or about 3-4 tablespoons)
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
4 sprigs of parsley, finely chopped
Coarse salt and white pepper
1. Rinse scallops with salt water and pat dry. Season both sides with salt and white pepper.
2. Prepare vegetables for the sauce: finely chop the shallots and garlic. Chop the tomatoes.
3. Heat saute pan over medium heat. Add oil. Sear scallops on each side until light golden brown, about 2 minutes on each side. Wrap in foil to keep warm and set aside.
4. Turn the stove down to low-medium heat. Add shallots and cook until they start to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic, tomatoes and chicken broth. Add thyme and oregano. Season with a pinch of salt and white pepper. Let simmer until sauce looks mostly chunky but still wet, about 5-7 minutes.
5. Prepare the garnish: Finely chop parsley and set aside.
6. To serve: Place two scallops and a heaping tablespoon or two of tomato sauce on a small plate. Add a few coarse salt crystals to the top of the scallops. Garnish with parsley.
How do I know I cooked the scallops correctly? Put short, undercooked scallops will be mushy. Overcooked scallops will be tougher or rubbery. Be mindful of the color of both raw and properly cooked scallops. Raw scallops will look translucent. But when they’re cooked they’ll look more white and opaque.
Why should I heat the pan before adding the oil? It’s a simple little trick to help keep the scallops from sticking to the pan.