Pan-Seared Scallops with fresh tomato-lemon sauce

1 large, ripe tomato, diced (remove some of the seeds) 
1-2 green onions, very finely sliced 
1 large clove of fresh, local garlic, finely minced 
Juice of 1 lemon 
2 tbsp. good quality olive oil 
A small handful of fresh basil, torn or roughly chopped

12 Scallops*
Salt, as needed

Oil (neutral), as needed 

*KEY TIP: Purchase a U10 or a 10-20 size FAS (frozen at sea) scallop.  We buy Comeau brand scallops from Nova Scotia at T&J Seafoods in Kitchener. Thaw them in the refrigerator overnight.  

 

  1. Make tomato lemon sauce:  In a bowl mix together tomato, green onion, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil & herbs.  Season with a few good pinches of salt.  Set aside at room temperature, make up to a few hours ahead of time.  
  2. Place scallops on a paper-towel lined plate.  Remove the abductor muscle (a small, opaque white piece attached to the scallop. Some may not have one).  Season very well with salt (pepper will burn).  
  3. Pan-sear scallops: preheat a frying pan over medium-high heat.  For best results, use a stainless steel or aluminum frying pan, not a non-stick.  Preheating the pan (without any oil in it) is key to getting that crust.  Put your hood fan on!  
  4. Once your pan is hot (you'll place your hand over top of the pan, and only be able to hold it there for about 5 seconds), drizzle in a neutral oil, 1-2 tsp.
  5. Your pan will smoke so act quickly: quickly PLACE (don't drop) your scallops onto the pan.  Allow to cook for about 90 seconds, undisturbed before turning over for a further 60-90 seconds.  Good quality scallops should be served medium to medium-well (i.e. there should be a thin line of translucency in the center of the scallop). 
  6. Serve immediately in a shallow dish with tomato lemon sauce, and some warm baguette to mop up all the juices.  Enjoy!

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