Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Friday, April 15, 2016

Skillet-Seared Scallops Romesco

Romesco is a traditional Spanish—specifically, Catalonian—sauce made with a base of roasted red pepper, olive oil, and nuts, usually almonds. Other common ingredients are garlic and sherry or red wine vinegar. Lots of recipes also call for ground, stale or toasted bread as a thickener, as well as roasted dried chiles or chile flakes. Here, I kept it simple and easy with only a few ingredients and no fuss. If you don’t have a gas range to char the bell pepper directly over a flame, roast it under a broiler instead.

Simple is the way to go with the scallops too. A little butter, fresh lemon juice, some seasoning, and the key ingredient: a cast-iron skillet. A quick sear in the pan caramelizes the scallops, turning them golden brown on the outside and keeping them moist and tender inside.

Note: This romesco recipe makes more than you’ll need for two servings. Refrigerate the leftover and serve it with grilled chicken breasts in a couple days.

Serves 2

  • 1 medium red bell pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped unsalted almonds
  • 2 tsp sherry vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 6 large sea scallops (about 2/3 lb)
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp chopped parsley
Romesco Ingredients
Sea Scallops
  1. Char the bell pepper over a gas flame (or roast under a broiler) until the skin is blackened and blistered all over, 8-9 minutes, turning several times. Transfer to a paper bag (or a bowl covered with plastic wrap) and close tightly. Let steam 15 minutes.
  2. Transfer the pepper to a cutting board and scrape off the loose skin. Remove the stem and seed pod, then chop the pepper. Place in a food processor and add the garlic, almonds, vinegar, and paprika. Pulse until chunky smooth.
  3. With the motor running, slowly add the olive oil and process until smooth (there will still  be some texture from the nuts). Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a bowl.
Pepper Beginning to Char 
Charred Pepper
Skinned, Roasted Pepper
Ready to Process
Processed without Oil
Oil Added 
Romesco Sauce
  1. Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the butter and let it melt until sizzling. Season the scallops with salt and pepper and add to the pan. Sear on 1 side, undisturbed, until golden brown on the bottom, 3 minutes. 
  2. Turn the scallops and sear another 2-3 minutes, until golden brown on the other side and slightly opaque in the middle. Stir in the lemon juice and cook 30 seconds.
Butter Beginning to Simmer
Scallops Beginning to Sear
Seared Scallops
Garnish with parsley and serve with romesco alongside.

Skillet-Seared Scallops Romesco

1 comment:

  1. Mmmm... Scallops.... Great recipe! Thanks for sharing at the "What's for Dinner" link up