What you need to know about buying and preparing scallops
Scallops are the sweetest and creamiest of shellfish. They are shucked at sea because they spoil quickly, and we buy the large, meaty muscle that opens and closes the shell. Sometimes the roe is still attached (it is not only edible but a delicacy).
Sea scallops are large and available year-round. Bay scallops and calico scallops are smaller varieties. Bay scallops are only available in winter and very expensive, because they're harvested from a small area of the Atlantic seaboard. The cheaper calico scallops are less desirable, since they toughen quickly in cooking and aren't as sweet.
When possible, buy "dry scallops" that have not been treated with a phosphate preservative. Treated scallops absorb water (making sautéing almost impossible) and have an off taste, so avoid scallops that are very white and sitting in liquid. Scallops should be ivory to beige in color.
Scallops are superb sautéed, grilled, roasted, poached and steamed. Substitute shrimp or lobster, or firm white fish such as monkfish.
- Bay Scallop and Grapefruit Ceviche with Avocado and Radish
- Cumin Grilled Sea Scallops with Chickpea Salad and Red Pepper-Tahini Vinaigrette
- Scallop Ceviche with Melon, Chili, and Mint
- Seared Scallops with Bacon, Tarragon and Lemon
- Seared Sea Scallops in Beurre Blanc with Baby Spring Vegetables in Puff Pastry
- Skewered Sea Scallops with Lemon-Fennel Dressing
- Prosciutto-Wrapped Scallops