Seared Scallops with Creamy Summer Succotash

Tender scallops and sweet corn are a classic combination, but we upped the ante by making a creamy summer succotash. Along with freshly shucked corn, we added haricots verts, bell pepper, cherry tomatoes and basil -- seasonal ingredients that are available fresh all summer long.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 40 min
  • Active: 40 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Ingredients

4 tablespoons canola oil

4 ounces pancetta, diced

1 small red onion, diced

4 ears corn, shucked and kernels removed

2 cloves garlic, minced

3/4 cup heavy cream

4 ounces haricots verts, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces (about 1 cup)

1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and diced

1 cup heirloom cherry tomatoes, halved

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 cup fresh basil leaves, torn

1 1/4 pounds large sea scallops (about 20), "foot" muscle removed, patted dry (see Cook's Note)

Directions

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until well browned and crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a paper-towel lined plate. Discard all but 1 tablespoon of the fat in the pan.
  2. Return the skillet to medium-high heat. Add the red onion and cook until just tender, about 2 minutes. Add the corn and garlic and cook until the corn is crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  3. Add 1/2 cup of the corn mixture to a blender with the heavy cream. Blend until smooth and reserve.
  4. Add 1 more tablespoon oil to the skillet with the corn mixture and turn the heat to medium-high. Add the haricots verts and bell pepper and cook until the haricots verts are bright green and crisp tender, about 2 minutes. Stir in the cherry tomatoes, reserved corn puree and pancetta. Cook until the mixture is bubbling and warmed through, about 1 minute. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Set aside and keep warm over low heat.
  5. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over high heat. Pat the scallops dry with paper towels and season both sides generously with salt and pepper. Add to the skillet and cook, undisturbed, until browned on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Flip and sear until just cooked through, about 1 minute more.
  6. Stir half the torn basil into the corn mixture, then spoon the succotash onto plates. Top with the seared scallops and serve with more torn basil on top.

Cook’s Note

When shopping for scallops, there are generally two types available: "wet" and "dry." Wet scallops are treated with a solution of water and sodium tripolyphosphate (STPP) to help them stay fresh longer. Because of the added water, they also get a little rubbery once cooked. Dry scallops are not treated with this solution. These scallops taste sweet and fresh with an ideal texture. While both varieties are perfectly fine to purchase and eat (and both work in this recipe), dry scallops are always preferred.