There are two main types of scallops available to consumers- sea scallops and bay scallops. Despite their names, the main difference is in size and flavor. Sea Scallops are larger and sweeter, while Bay Scallops are smaller and more intense in flavor. When shopping for scallops, there are a few things to consider. First, make sure to ask whether the scallops are dry-packed or wet-packed. Dry-packed means they are natural and wet-packed means they have been treated with sodium tripolyphosphate to absorb moisture prior to the freezing process, thereby getting a better price per unit of weight. Secondly, make sure the scallops are shiny and moist and don’t smell fishy. And finally try to purchase fresh scallops during their in-season, which is from November to March. But frozen scallops are a great option during the other seven months.
This recipe is incredibly easy and really takes advantage of your oven. Before you start cooking, be sure to preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
- 1 Large Butternut Squash, cut in half length-wise
- 3-4 tablespoons of Ricotta Cheese
- 20ish Brussel Sprouts, cut into halves or quarters, depending on your preference
- 2-3 cloves of garlic
- 3 Sea Scallops per person, rinsed and dried
- Salt and Pepper
- Red pepper flakes
For the Squash Puree
- Place your split Butternut Squash in your preheated oven on an oven-safe tray. Let roast 30 minutes, or until you can pinch the sides and it gives.
- Take the squash out and let sit for 10 minutes so you don’t burn your hands.
- Remove the seeds with a spoon and throw away
- spoon out the squash into a bowl, discarding the skin
- Add a tablespoon of olive oil and the ricotta, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste.
- Mash everything together with a fork and set aside for later.
For the Brussel Sprouts
- Place an oven-proof pan on your stove. Place on high heat
- Add several tablespoons of olive oil and 2-3 cloves of whole garlic. Let the garlic cook for a minute. You’re really just looking to flavor the oil with the garlic.
- Throw in your precut brussel sprouts and a few pinches of salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Saute for 3-4 minutes.
- Throw the entire pan into the oven and let bake for 20 minutes, reaching in every 10 minutes to stir them around to prevent burning. You’re looking for color on the sprouts and for them to be fork tender. Continue to cook until they’re tender with light brown cooking marks.
For the Scallops
Scallops cook quickly. So this should be the final piece of the puzzle.
- Dust your scallops on both sides with salt and pepper. Some people like to dust the scallops with flour beforehand, but it’s up to you. I don’t.
- Place a pan on high heat. Get the pan very hot, then add a few tablespoons of oil.
- Place your seasoned scallops on the pan, being sure not to overcrowd the pan. If you overcrowd it, you’ll reduce the temperature of the pan/oil and you’ll basically boil your scallops instead of searing them.
- Do not move the scallops for 3-4 minutes. After 3-4 minutes, flip each scallop and repeat the process.
- Remove the scallops and place each on a spoonful of the butternut squash puree. Surrounding each tower with your sprouts.