I love a nicely seared scallop.  Not only do they taste great, but they are one of those foods that are simultaneously easy to make, yet uber impressive.   As such, I’m always looking for scallop recipes that I can add to my repertoire.  In this recipe video, I show you how to make a a scallop and zucchini appetizer, that I frequently make when I host a dinner party.  You can prepare just about everything in advance, searing the scallop at the very last minute, and I guarantee your guests will love it.  You can also easily customize this dish, by changing up the garnishes with the the time of year….tomatoes in summer, mushrooms in fall, beets in winter, asparagus in spring…or a hundred over variations once you know the fundamental cooking techniques.  Hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Recipe Overview and Keys to Success

  • The zucchini rounds should be sliced very thin, so that they don’t overwhelm the other ingredients.  Use a sharp knife, and a confident grip, and you should be able to get them just a bit thicker than a couple playing cards
  • Searing the scallop correctly, is the most critical part of this dish.  Use very high heat and  non-stick pan to get the right caramelization quickly, before you overcook the scallop and it turns into rubber
  • The flavor and acid, from the dressing are important in this dish.  The sweet/savory scallop and the mild, crunchy zucchini need that acid, or the flavors just won’t pop
  • Like all dishes, make sure you season everything with the right amount of salt and pepper

RECIPE FOR SCALLOP AND ZUCCHINI APPETIZER

Ingredients (for 4 servings)

  • 1 Small zucchini
  • 4 scallops
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons diced tomatoes

How to Make the Scallop and Zucchini Appetizer

  • Clean the zucchini and remove the top and bottom
  • Slice very thin rounds, each as thin as you can.  You need about 10 rounds per serving
  • Lay the rounds in a circle with each round slightly overlapping the other, with room in the center of the circle to place the scallop once cooked
  • You can do this a few hours ahead of time, wrap in plastic wrap and keep in the fridge
  • To make the dressing, brown the butter in a sauce pan, and then remove to a mixing bowl
  • Add the diced tomato, the balsamic vinegar, and season with salt and pepper, mix together
  • Now season, and then sear the scallops in a very hot pan, in olive oil.  Cook for about 1 minute per side, until they are nicely browned on each side, but just cooked through
  • Lay one scallop in the center of each zucchini circle (make sure the zucchini is back to room temp, if you refrigerated them), and then dress the vinaigrette over the plate
  • Season with salt and pepper and serve

Wine Recommendation: I like a white wine for this dish, and one that less fruit forward, and a bit more minerally.  That points me toward French wine.  My first choice would be a Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire Valley; but I think a White Burgundy (the Chardonnay grape) would go equally well.

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