This hearty appetizer really showcases the flavor of your scallops. Thawed scallops are fine for this recipe but thaw them overnight and then drain them very well. Finally mop them dry with paper towels and repeat until the paper towels are dry. It might surprise you just how much liquid a frozen scallop can hold on to unless you are rigorous at drying it!
The scallops are served on a bed of salsa and topped with chimichurri. The salsa is made with tomatoes, onion and some orange juice. Throw in a little cilantro and even a few drops of hot sauce if you want. For the chimichurri we are using parsley, oregano, garlic and seasonings. Chimichurri is a grilled meat sauce which originated in Argentina but it is found all over Latin America and also in good steakhouses. It pairs well with the meatiness of scallops.
This makes a wonderful appetizer and the following recipe makes 4 appetizer-size portions. You can make the chimichurri and salsa ahead if you wish, then simply season the scallops with salt and black pepper and pan-sear them. Flip them over after seasoning the other side and finish them off. The scallops will take just a few minutes. Do not overcook them else they will dry out. Once they have a light golden brown crust on both sides and are opaque they are ready to plate. Add some microgreens to the plate as a garnish or some fresh herb sprigs, whichever you have.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Salt and black pepper, as needed
- 16 fresh scallops
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Fresh sage or similar, for garnish
- Leaves from ½ bunch fresh parsley
- 2 minced garlic cloves
- 1 small handful fresh oregano leaves
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ seeded, finely chopped tomato
- 3 teaspoons finely chopped cilantro
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped white onion
- Just of ¼ orange
- Hot sauce (optional)
- Put the chimichurri ingredients in a food processor.
- Process until smooth.
- Combine all the salsa ingredients to make the salsa.
- You can add a few drops of hot sauce if you want.
- Divide the salsa between 4 serving plates.
- Use salt and black pepper to season the scallops on one side.
- Heat olive oil in a skillet over a medium-high heat.
- Swirl the pan so the oil covers the whole surface.
- Add the scallops seasoned side down.
- Season the other side with salt and black pepper.
- Cook for 2 minutes or until golden brown.
- Flip each one and cook for 1 or 2 more minutes.
- Top the salsa with the scallops.
- Next, spoon the chimichurri on top.
- Serve right away, garnished with fresh herb sprigs.
These scallops taste so good. The chimichurri on top is made with garlic, parsley, oregano and seasonings, while the salsa underneath boasts tomatoes, onion, cilantro and orange juice. As for the scallops themselves, a little salt and black pepper is all you need to showcase their distinctive flavor. Get the pan nice and hot and they will sear in just a few minutes, then it is time to flip them over and do the other side. The hot scallops sizzle when they make contact with the cool salsa, then you can spoon your chimichurri on top. Be generous with it – this Argentinian condiment is seriously good! Add a sprig of herbs and your irresistible scallop appetizer is ready to serve.
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