Seared scallops cook quickly — within 5 minutes — and are best when enjoyed straight-away. If you’re serving them with pasta, vegetables or rice, make sure they are ready before cooking the scallops. Basil adds a lovely sweetness to the butter sauce, but if it is not available, a few fresh thyme sprigs will do the trick.
• Prep time: 5 minutes
• Cook time: 5 minutes
• Yield: Serves 4
• 12 large sea scallops, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds
• Salt and fresh ground black pepper
• 2 tbsps oil, such as olive oil, avocado oil or grape seed oil
• 1 1/2 tbsps butter
• 2 garlic cloves, minced
• 1 cup fresh basil leaves
• 3 to 4 lemon slices
• 2 tsps all-purpose flour (Optional)
- Use a paper towel to pat the scallops dry. Dust one side of the scallops with a small amount of flour, and then season with salt and pepper.
- Heat a wide skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil to the pan. When the oil is hot and shimmery, carefully place the scallops, seasoned-side-down, into the pan. Cook, without moving them until browned, about 2 minutes.
- While the first side is browning, dust the unseasoned side of the scallops with a bit of flour and season them with salt and pepper.
- Flip the scallops — if any stick to the pan, wait a few more seconds then try again, gently wiggling them side to side to help release them.
- Add the butter and garlic to the pan, and then swirl the butter around the pan as it melts. Cook another minute or two then take the pan off of the heat. Stir in the basil leaves and lemon slices. Serve.
• Do I need to use flour: If you don’t want to use the flour, it’s okay. It helps with even browning, and since some of the flour sticks to the bottom of the pan, it mixes with the butter, helping to thicken the garlic basil butter sauce. If you are gluten-free or don’t want to get out the flour, make sure the scallops are as dry as you can get them for the best chance at a good sear.
• Thawing frozen scallops: The easiest and safest way to thaw them is to place them in the refrigerator the night before you plan to cook them. For a quicker solution, you can add them to a sealed bag and put them in a large bowl under cold running water. Move the bag around the bowl every so often until the scallops have defrosted. Assume they will take half-an-hour, or so. Don’t let the water get into the bag.
This great family recipe is thanks to Yummly Recipes at https://www.yummly.com/recipe/Seared-Scallops-With-Garlic-Basil-Butter-2599016#directions