I think of scallops as fast food. These tender little mouthfuls of deliciousness usually take under five minutes to cook, making this Easy Scallop Supper a go to option on nights when cooking seems like way too much work. It’s perfect for when we want something satisfying – and maybe even just a little bit special – for dinner.
I originally posted this recipe three years ago but I just had to share it again in time for Valentine’s Day. My Easy Scallop Supper is also perfect for entertaining. The quantities in the recipe below serve two but you can easily double or triple them.
Scallops come in a range of sizes from very tiny bay scallops (more easily available in North America) to much larger sea scallops which can be up to two inches in diameter. My recipe calls for 5 large scallops per person but if you are using smaller scallops you will want to use more.
In the UK and Europe, scallops are often sold with the orange coral (roe or eggs) attached. This is considered a delicacy but I am not keen on it so I generally ask the person at the fish counter to remove it.
You can buy your scallops fresh or frozen. If you use frozen scallops, thaw them overnight in the refrigerator before using. Always be sure that your scallops are sustainably sourced.
The size of the scallops you use affects the cooking time. Scallops need to be cooked until they are opaque. I generally find this takes about 2 to 4 minutes a side. You can carefully cut into one of the scallops just to be sure it is cooked through and opaque inside.
Although many restaurants serve scallops wrapped in bacon or in complicated, rich dishes, scallops take up flavours so easily they are a delicious simply partnered with fresh herbs and spices, a few stir fried veggies and some luscious mashed potato.
My Easy Scallop Supper is Good For You!
Recently I’ve started using a mix of mashed sweet potatoes and new potatoes instead of crushed new potatoes when I serve this dish. The flavours are amazing and the sweet potato makes the dish even more wholesome.
The fresh, stir fried veggies are full of vitamins and minerals. You really can use any kind of finely sliced vegetables that you like for this recipe. I like to use a combination of onions, courgette, red peppers, finely sliced cabbage or Brussels Sprouts for a fresh and crunchy flavour. If you have red cabbage on hand, slice it thinly and throw it in too. The red pigment contains flavonoids which are especially good for you, plus it adds a wonderful flavour and texture.
Look no further the next time you need a special dinner that is quick and easy. My Easy Scallop Supper will definitely save the day!
- A couple of small handfuls of baby or new potatoes, washed and scrubbed
- 2 tablespoons mild olive oil, divided
- 1 red onion, peeled and very finely chopped
- half a medium red pepper, de-seeded and very finely chopped
- 1 small zucchini, cut in half lengthwise and then in very fine half moons
- a handful of finely sliced red cabbage (optional)
- a generous knob of butter
- a few tablespoons of milk
- ½ teaspoon dried tarragon or a generous ½ teaspoon freshly chopped tarragon
- about 10 large scallops
- paprika for garnish
- Put the potatoes in a saucepan and cover with cold water.
- Bring to the boil and cook for about 15 to 20 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked through.
- Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat.
- Saute the onion, sprinkling it lightly with salt to prevent over browning.
- When the onion begins to soften add the red pepper, zucchini and red cabbage (if using).
- Saute until the vegetables soften and begin to turn a light golden colour, sprinkling with a bit of freshly ground pepper to taste.
- Set aside and keep warm.
- When the potatoes are cooked, drain and add the butter.
- Crush the potatoes roughly with a fork, adding just enough milk to give a bit of a creamy texture. Season the potatoes with salt and pepper to taste.
- Set aside and keep warm.
- Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a small to medium frying pan over medium heat.
- Add the scallops.
- Add the tarragon and a bit more freshly ground pepper.
- After about 2 minutes, turn the scallops over.
- Cook for 3 to 5 minutes (or 5 to 7 minutes if the scallops are cook from frozen) until the scallops are opaque all the way through. (I carefully cut one to have a look.)
- When the scallops are cooked, divide the potatoes between two plates. Try to arrange the potatoes in a circular fashion.
- Top the potatoes with the vegetables, dividing between the plates, again in a circular fashion.
- Top with the scallops, dividing them evenly between the plates.
- Sprinkle with paprika and serve.