Great Summer Meal
I was reading my August 2008 edition of Bon Appetit while sitting on the beach and found this summer recipe that looked perfect for all the local ingredients available this time of year. Jersey corn, cherry tomatoes, fresh basil, and local scallops were a disappointment.
I purchased local scallops over frozen ones because they were supposedly fresh and on sale. I purchased them in a supermarket, not a local fish store which may have been a mistake too.
They turned out to be chewy and rubbery so I will be making this dish again with day boat or diver scallops someday.
The good news is the dressing and salad were incredible and very easy to prepare. In fact, you could use the salad with any grilled fish or shellfish as well as chicken or maybe even pork. We did grill nectarines, but I want to try this dish with fresh, local Jersey yellow peaches.
Grilled Scallops and Nectarines with Jersey Corn and Tomato Salad
For the Salad Dressing:
For the Basil Puree
For the Salad
- 24 sea scallops side muscle removed and patted dry -- (If you can't find day boat, diver or dry scallops, opt for frozen)
- 3 ripe nectarines or peaches, cut into 6 wedges
- olive oil for brushing on scallops and nectarines while grilling
- 1½ cups fresh corn kernels corn. cut from 2 large ears of fresh
- 24 grape tomatoes cut in half
- ⅓ cup basil leaves thinly sliced, for garnish
- salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
How to Prepare Dressing
- Whisk together the lime juice, lime peel, and chilly powder in a small bowl. When combined, slowly add the oil while whisking quickly.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
How to Prepare Basil Puree
- Start by blanching the basil leaves in a small pot of boiling water salted for just 30 seconds. Drain in a colander and squeeze as much water as possible from the basil.
- Coarsely chop up the basil. The article suggests using a blender to puree the basil with oil, but the blender we had available at the beach house we were renting didn't do an excellent job. If you have a mini food processor, try that. If not, I would chop the basil up fine by hand and then whisk it with the oil.
- Season with some sea salt.
How to Prepare the Salad
- Get your grill to medium-high heat. It can take 10 to 15 minutes to get the grate hot using a gas grill. A big mistake lots of home cooks make is they turn the gill on, wait a couple of minutes, and start grilling. Always preheat the grill as you preheat your oven before baking or roasting.
- Brush olive oil on the scallops and nectarines and season with salt and pepper.
- Grill the scallops until they are slightly grilled and cooked through. The article says this takes about 2 minutes per side, but everyone's grill is different and takes a little longer.
- Be sure the scallops are completely dry, or they will steam and not give you the charring. I think this is one of my many mistakes with this dish.
- Grill the nectarine sections until slightly charred. Again, depending on your grill, this could take 1½ to 3 minutes per side. Remove and reserve the scallops and peaches until ready to plate.
Plating the Scallops:
- If serving 6, arrange four scallops on six plates. Just before serving, toss two tablespoons of dressing in the corn and one tablespoon of dressing with the tomatoes—season both with salt and pepper to taste.
- Spoon a little corn around the scallops and "scatter" the tomatoes over the corn. Tastefully arrange the nectarine slices on the plate and drizzle a little dressing over the scallops.
- Finish the plate with a little basil puree & sea salt over the corn and tomatoes.