easy, delicious, summer scallop dinner


last night i made john scallops – because there are some big changes going on at damiano inc and :) well, my man loves scallops.

i found this recipe in a best of food & wine cookbook i got from some amex deal, ha…but it was actually really really tasty and super easy! it only takes 1 prep plate, and 1 pan (+ cutting board) and about 30 mins. limited ingredients and literally i was ready to lick my plate clean. :)

Sea Scallops alla Caprese
(serves 4)   —- cost: $12~ish/per person

-2 lbs mixed heirloom tomatoes (they actually didn’t have any at whole foods, so i just used normal tomatoes, a couple kumatos & a yellow tomato for color)
-fresh basil leaves
-1 large red onion – cut into 1-inch-thick slices & skewered to keep the slices together (use either a metal or wet bamboo skewer)
-5 tablespoons good olive oil
-12 giant diver scallops (about 2 ounces each or u-10 or u-20 size)
-coarse sea salt
-1 lemon, cut in half

Preheat your cooktop to hot and place a dry cast iron skillet (12″) – allow to heat up until it is very hot and slightly smoking.

Slice your tomatoes creatively (leaving small ones whole or halved) and lay out on a platter. Top with torn basil leaves. Set aside.

Season your onion slices (with 1 large onion I got 2 good 1″ slices) on both sides w/ S+P. Place them in the hot dry cast iron skillet and cook, unmoved, for 7 to 10 minutes, until well charred on the first side. Using tongs, carefully turn the slices over & cook for another 7-10 minutes, until well charred and softened. Transfer to a plate & let cool slightly, remove the skewers & separate the slices into smaller rings. Break/cut/tear into 1-2″ wide pieces and scatter them over the tomatoes. Drizzle the whole platter w/ 3 tablespoons olive oil.

While the onions are charring, score one side of the scallops in a checkerboard pattern about 1/4″ deep. Season w/ S+P all over and set on prep plate. Drizzle w/ 2 tablespoons olive oil making sure all sides are coated.

Place the scallops scored side down in the cast iron skillet (should still be hot and dry, feel free to ignore any charring left over from the onions) and cook for 5-7 minutes, unmoved, until almost cooked-they should be opaque almost all the way through. Flip them over and sear the other side for 30 seconds-1 minute. Remove and arrange on top of tomato salad.

Sprinkle the scallops & tomatoes w/ coarse sea salt and squeeze the lemon halves over – serve.

…and i don’t love onions or even scallops, immensely anyways, but seriously – this was amazing. the perfect easy summer dinner. serve w/ a saffron rice or arugula salad (ok, maybe that’s just us since it’s our go to “serve with”… ;) ha)

*this can get a little smoky, so make sure to use a hood vent, can also be cooked outside on the grill on a piastra or even in your cast iron skillet…



  1. so I needed something to fix up for our little backyard soiree, and I thought I’d try out these scallops. Then I got on your blog to get the recipe and had to catch up on all of your more recent entries. Gotta get my “Paige” fix for the week, geez dude, thanks for all the fun ideas!

  2. They were great!

    I served it with a chopped Arugula, Basil, Fennel, Kalamata Olive, and Naval Orange salad with fresh grated parm. Yum!

    Thanks for the recipe!

    Next time:
    I might add more red onion, because I love it… especially charred like this. And a tiny bit more fresh lemon juice. It really complimented the basil and the olive oil. Finally, I only used one tbsp. of EVOO for cooking and one for drizzling.

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