Scallops with fresh tomatoes, herbs and white wine.

I had a friend over for dinner last weekend in an effort to be social without eating junk food or drinking alcohol (believe me, this is a challenge in my world). Lucky her, it was scallops night – lucky me, I have access to this fabulous cookbook.

In my cooking adventures, I’ve discovered that it’s difficult – if not impossible – to mess up scallops. You can saute them in olive oil and garlic, you can dress them up with fancy sauces, whatever – they’re low-maintenance molluscs. I’ve used recipes from my favorite Asian stir-fry cookbook, Fine Cooking, and the bag of scallops from Trader Joe’s, and I have never had bad scallops. In fact, they’ve always been fantastic. So I figured last Saturday was a good opportunity to make a delicious dinner for someone other than myself.

The only scallop recipe in my Cuisine of California cookbook is Scallops with Fresh Tomatoes, Herbs, and White Wine. Perfect. That’s what I ended up serving, along with steamed green beans.

(Serves 2 as a main course – recipe halved from original)

Ingredients:

1 lb. sea scallops
2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium shallots, finely chopped
2 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced
1/3 cup dry white wine
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme
1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
1 medium clove garlic, minced
1/8 teaspoon salt
Pinch of finely ground pepper
1/2 tablespoon whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley (for garnish)

Directions:

1. Remove small white muscle at the side of each sea scallop. Cut sea scallops in half horizontally.

2. Heat 1 of the tablespoons oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and saute for 3 minutes, or until soft. Add tomatoes, wine, herbs and garlic. Simmer for 5 minutes, or until slightly reduced. Add salt and pepper and taste for seasoning.

3. Pat scallops dry. Sprinkle with flour; shake off excess.

4. Heat remaining oil in a large skillet. Place scallops in the skillet and saute over medium-high heat, turning frequently, about 2 minutes per side, or until lightly browned and tender.

5. Spoon scallops onto serving plates and pour sauce over each serving. Sprinkle with chopped parsley.

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