I really really really LOVE this recipe! It’s easy to whip up and has a ton of flavor. I grilled the scallops just because I love the grilled taste. I’ll be remaking this one for sure a lot this summer!
I used a hand tool for slicing the zucchini. One side does fat thin noodles and the other does thin spaghetti like noodles. I opted for the fat ones this time, but I’ll try the other version next time.
Seared Sea Scallops over Zucchini Ribbons with Goat Cheese
(Adapted from She Cooks He Cleans)
8-10 sea scallops
Oil suitable for high heat cooking (I used coconut oil)
2 good-sized zucchini, sliced thinly into ribbons
1 small shallot, finely chopped
~2 tablespoons butter (preferably from pastured cows)
splash of extra-virgin olive oil
~1/4 cup light stock (I used chicken stock)
Juice from 1/2 lemon
4 ounce log of soft, fresh goat cheese
handful of basil leaves, julienned
Coarse salt (sea salt or kosher salt) and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Pat the sea scallops dry with paper towels. If present, remove the adductor muscles (looks like a little “foot”) from the side of the scallops and discard. Those tend to be unpleasantly chewy, and they pull right off with a little tug. Lightly season with salt and pepper, and set the scallops aside.
In a sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons of butter with a splash of olive oil over medium heat. Cook the shallots for about a minute – but not long enough to brown.
Add the stock to the pan and bring to a simmer.
Toss in the zucchini ribbons and cook for a few minutes, continuing to toss the zucchini, until it is just tender and the liquid in the pan has reduced a little.
Stir in about 2 ounces of the goat cheese with the lemon juice, until the goat cheese has melted and the liquid in the pan is sauce-like.
Stir in some of the basil, saving some for the final garnish. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Remove from heat, but keep warm.
Heat a heavy skillet over medium-high heat until VERY hot (cast iron is good, but any heavy-bottomed skillet will work). Add a very thin layer of coconut oil (or other high-heat oil) to the pan, swirl to coat, and immediately add scallops, flat side down. Do not crowd the pan – you may need to cook the scallops in two batches, depending on how big your skillet is. DO NOT move the scallops – sear them for 2 minutes, then turn and sear for about a minute (maybe 1 1/2 minutes) on the other side. It is important not to overcook the scallops or they will be rubbery and tough. They should be nicely seared on the outside, but should still be a little translucent-looking in the middle as you look at them from the side. They will feel a little springy to the touch – not stiff. When they are done, remove them from the pan and keep warm while you finish cooking them all.
We grilled ours instead
To serve, place a mound of zucchini noodles on a plate, and place the scallops around it. Add a dollup of the remaining goat cheese to the top, and garnish with the rest of the julienned basil.
Just for a fun added bonus. I usually give the fancy finished plate to my husband for being so patient waiting on me to finish and take photos. Here’s a shot of the plate I got. At least I’m lucky and he’ll do the dishes for me so I’ll take a messy plate anyday!