Types of Scallops
There are three kinds of scallops that are consumed in the United States—sea scallops, bay scallops and calico scallops.
Sea scallops are relatively large, often 1½”-2” in diameter, and are often presented in beautifully seared platings of two or three.
Bay scallops are much smaller, although some aficionados find them to be sweeter than sea scallops. Because of their small size, bay scallops are not the ideal scallop for searing but are excellent in stir-fries and even cooked as scampi to be served as a light pasta sauce.
Calico scallops are harvested off of the US Gulf and Southern Atlantic coasts. Unlike sea and bay scallops, their shells are tightly closed, and they must be steamed open before further preparation. Although similar in shape, size and color to bay scallops, they are less sweet and less tender than their Northern cousins.
Characteristics of Scallops
Speaking of shape, size and color, the adductor muscle itself can range in color from pale ivory to beige. Raw scallops are somewhat translucent and are generally round. Large sea scallops might be up to an inch thick and up to 2” in diameter, while bay and calico scallops, while shaped the same, are much smaller.
How Are They Harvested?
Scallops are harvested in one of two ways—by trawling or by diving. Trawling is done by scraping the ocean floor and pulling up scallops (and whatever else is down there) without regard to maturity or to the damage possibly being done to the ocean floor.
A more environmentally friendly, albeit expensive, method of harvest is by diver and the scallops are known as “diver scallops.” A diver scallop is not another species of scallop, nor does it designate size. Rather it describes the manner in which the scallops were harvested. Divers go down and choose mature scallops by hand, leaving behind immature scallops as well as leaving the ocean floor alone. Since the ocean floor is not disturbed by the divers, diver scallops are usually less gritty than those harvested by bottom trawls.
Like shrimp, scallops are sold by count-per-pound. Sea scallops might be marked at 10/20, meaning that between 10 and 20 scallops are in each pound. Of course, larger sea scallops tend to be the most expensive. Another weight designation you might see is U/10 or U/15. This means that it takes fewer than, or under, 10 (or 15) to make up a pound. Here again, the larger the U number, the smaller the scallop. Bay scallops, being smaller than sea scallops, generally fall in the 70/120 range.
When purchasing scallops, make sure to buy from a reputable fishmonger and be sure to smell the scallops before purchase. The scallops should smell clean and sweet and like the ocean. If they have a strong fishy smell, do not buy them.
The muscles should be in one piece, so inspect them carefully. If you see signs of the muscle fibers pulling apart, pass them by as this is a sign that the scallops are past their prime. As mentioned before, dry pack scallops should feel slightly sticky but not be slimy. If the rubbery side muscle has been left on the scallops, remove them.
How To Store Fresh Scallops
Fresh scallops need to be stored at temperatures below 38F. This is generally lower than most people keep their refrigerators, so you will have to make some adjustments. An ideal set up for storing scallops is to have a shallow plastic container with holes in the bottom that is set in a deeper plastic container. Place ice in the shallow container and spread the scallops on the ice. Cover everything with a damp paper towel, and store in the coldest part of the refrigerator. Even with this care, make sure to use the scallops within a day or two. Because they are so perishable, using them the same day you purchase them is ideal.
Scallops are a very lean protein, and as such, they can toughen very easily during cooking. It is very important not to overcook scallops as they can go from succulent to rubber pretty quickly. Don’t take your eyes off them when cooking and make sure that you remove them from the heat while they are still moist and plump.
Sautéing, broiling and grilling are all simple, dry heat methods by which you can cook large sea scallops to really showcase them. Moist heat methods, including stir-fry with a sauce and simmering (as in soups, stews and risottos), are perfect for the small, sweet bay scallops.
Scallop Salad with Tomatoes, Cucumbers and White Wine Vinaigrette
Serves: 4 servings
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 1/4 pounds calico or bay scallops
- Salt and white pepper
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 1/4 cups halved grape tomatoes
- 1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2 inch dice
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon minced shallots
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano leaves
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
- 8 leaves Boston Bibb lettuce
Season the scallops with salt and pepper. Heat the 1 teaspoon olive oil in a small skillet and saute scallops for 2 to 3 minutes or until the scallops have a nice sear on each side. Add garlic to the pan and cook an additional 30 seconds. Remove the scallops and garlic from the pan, and place in a large, heat-resistant bowl. Toss tomato halves and cucumber with the warm scallops.
In a small bowl combine the extra-virgin olive oil, white wine vinegar, lemon juice, and the shallots. Whisk until well blended. Pour dressing over warm scallop mixture, tossing to coat. Adjust seasonings with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Sprinkle chopped oregano and parsley over the salad, and toss to coat.
Arrange two lettuce leaves on each salad plate. Divide the scallop salad among the 4 plates, on top of the lettuce.
Parmesan Breaded Scallops With Lemon Garnish
- 20 large sea scallops (about 1 1/4 lbs)
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh Italian parsley
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Combine the coating ingredients on a plate & mix with your fingers.
Wash scallops & remove the small, tough side muscle.
Pat the scallops dry with paper towels & place this in a small bowl.
Add the olive oil & mix to coat.
Dip the scallops in the coating, turning to cover evenly.
Gently press the crumbs onto the scallops.
Place the scallops in a single layer on a clean plate.
Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes to set the crumbs.
Finely chop the parsley and lemon zest and mix together.
Add the olive oil and lemon juice.
Grease a grill tray that fits over the grill grates generously with oil.
Place the scallops on the grill tray 1-2 inches apart and grill over direct medium heat until just opaque in the center, about 8 minutes, turning once halfway through grilling time.
Treat them carefully when turning.
Remove from the grill, place a little of the garnish onto each scallop and serve warm.
Spaghetti with Scallops, Fresh Tomatoes and Basil
- 1½ pounds fresh tomatoes
- 1 medium clove garlic
- 1/8 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 pound sea scallops
- 1 pound spaghetti or linguine
- 12 fresh basil leaves
1. Fill a pot to cook the pasta with about 6 quarts of water, place over high heat, and bring to a boil.
2. Peel the tomatoes and coarsely chop them. Peel the garlic clove and finely chop it.
3. Put the garlic, hot red pepper flakes, and the olive oil in a 12-inch skillet and place over medium-high heat. As soon as the garlic begins to sizzle, add the tomatoes. Season with salt and cook until the liquid the tomatoes release has evaporated, 10 to 12 minutes.
4. While the tomatoes are cooking, cut the scallops into ¼-inch dice.
5. When the tomatoes are ready, add about 2 tablespoons salt to the boiling pasta water, add the spaghetti, and stir until all the strands are submerged. Cook until al dente.
6. Shred the basil leaves and add them to the pan with the tomatoes. Raise the heat to high and add the scallops. Cook until the scallops are done, 1 to 2 minutes, then remove from the heat.
7. When the pasta is done, drain well, toss with the sauce, and serve.
Bay Scallops with Mushrooms, Peppers and Italian Sausage
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
- 3 sweet Italian sausages
- 2 red bell peppers, seeded and cut into l-inch cubes
- 2 green bell peppers, seeded and cut into l-inch cubes
- 18 white button mushrooms, quartered
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 pounds fresh bay scallops
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- Pour 1 teaspoon oil into a small saute pan, heat and spread oil, add the sausages, and cook until they are lightly browned and cooked through. Drain the sausages on paper towels. Set aside and keep warm. Slice each sausage on the bias into 1/2-inch slices.
- To the pan add 1 teaspoon oil and add the peppers and mushrooms. Saute quickly for several minutes. Add 1/2 tablespoon of garlic and saute for 1 more minute. Remove from the pan and add to sausage.
- In the same pan, add the remaining 1 teaspoon oil and heat on high. Saute the scallops for several minutes until just lightly browned. Do not overcook. Add the remaining garlic and the sausage, peppers and mushrooms, and continue cooking for a few more minutes.
- Add the lemon juice, remove from heat, and add the butter and parsley. Serve with crusty bread.
Grilled Scallops with Lemon Risotto
- 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 3/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 12 large sea scallops
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Fresh lemon wedges, for garnish
- 4 Skewers
In a small bowl combine the tarragon, thyme, oregano, garlic powder, pepper and oil. Add the scallops and toss to coat. Cover the bowl and refrigerate 2 to 10 hours.
Oil a ridged stove-top griddle or outdoor grill and preheat it. Season the scallops lightly with salt and thread 3 on each skewer, and grill about 1 1/2 minutes per side, or until slightly firm. Remove and set aside.
- 1 large leek, white part only, well washed and cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
- 1 cup Arborio rice
- 2 cups low-sodium broth, chicken or vegetable
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons chopped chives or parsley
- Sweat the leek in 2 teaspoons of butter over low heat in a tightly covered straight-sided saute pan for 6 minutes, stirring once or twice.
- Add the rice and raise the heat to medium, stirring often for 3 minutes. Add 1 cup of stock, season lightly with salt and pepper, and stir until all of the liquid has been absorbed.
- Add the remaining broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly after each addition. When all of the liquid is absorbed, add the zest and continue to cook for about 10 minutes more, until the rice is al dente.
- Stir in the lemon juice. Season well with salt and pepper, add the chives or parsley, stir in the remaining 2 teaspoons of butter until it melts and serve hot.
Serve with cooked spinach or asparagus.
- Trend Alert: Scallops (fabsugar.com)
- Scallops all around! YUM! (redfoxfitness.wordpress.com)
- Bay Scallops Gratin #SundaySupper (kraylfunch.wordpress.com)
- Grilled Scallops (marenellingboe.com)
- Pan Seared Scallops With Sweet Pea, Tarragon and Lemon Risotto (myfancypantry.com)
- How To Cook Scallops (mademan.com)
- Quick & Easy Seared Scallops with Oranges (williams-sonoma.com)
- Seared Scallops With Fresh Greens (theepochtimes.com)
- Recipe and Wine Pairing: Sauteed Diver Scallops and Esprit de Beaucastel Blanc (tablascreek.typepad.com)
- 5 Top-Rated Recipes for Indoor Grilling (williams-sonoma.com)
- Joy is Here for the Taking (latetothetable.com)
With a nod to good health and great taste, consider some out-of-the-ordinary vegetarian entrée options for grilling this summer. There’s more to vegetable grilling than just throwing some sliced vegetables onto the grill. With the right recipes, you can create tasty meat-free menu items that are substantial enough to take center plate at your cookout. They’ll be just as hearty as the meat options you’re serving, and full of fantastic flavor, thanks to time spent on the grill.
Don’t be surprised if the meat-eating guests take to these dishes as much as the vegetarians do. And if the attending carnivores want further motivation besides great taste, here it is: Research has shown that reducing the amount meat in your diet can cut your risk of developing cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, and type 2 diabetes.
At backyard barbecues around the country, a vegetarian can often feel like the odd person out — forced to bring his own entrees or to pick around the edges. Fortunately grilling season kicks into high gear just as vegetable produce peaks. Not only are gardeners growing veggies by the bagful, but supermarket prices for fresh fruits and vegetables are also low. This is a chance for hard-core grillers to bring their talents of outdoor cookery to dishes for the meatless crowd.
In addition to providing the smoky flavor that emanates from the coals, grilling caramelizes the natural sugars in the vegetables and makes them taste extra sweet. Just about anything that sprouts from the ground or grows on a tree can be suspended over coals, including corn on the cob, zucchini, potatoes, onions, pineapples, mangoes, and mushrooms. Most vegetarian foods are more delicate than meat and have less fat. So to keep food from sticking to the grill and falling apart, it’s important to keep the grill clean and well-oiled.
Once the grill is hot, scrape it well with a grill brush to remove burned-on bits of food. Then fold a paper towel into a small square, soak it with vegetable oil. Grab it with your long-handled tongs and rub down the grill thoroughly.
For sandwiches, cut veggies like zucchini and eggplant lengthwise into thin slices–or into thick rings, in the case of onions, tomatoes, and peppers. Round out the meal by serving grilled veggies over pasta, rice, or polenta. Asparagus is one of the best and simplest vegetables to grill and is terrific in pastas and rice dishes. Leave the spears whole and simply lay them perpendicular across the grill grates!
How To Make Pizza On the Grill
Grilled pizzas are a specific style of pie: typically thin-crusted, they’re lightly sauced (too much liquid means a soggy crust) with minimal toppings. They also cook very fast.
Make the Dough
Use your favorite crust recipe or see recipe below. Divide the dough into two or more pieces and shape into balls for individual-sized pizzas. Set the dough aside to proof while you prepare your toppings.
Tip: if you have a heavy-duty mixer or bread machine, double the recipe. Divide and shape the dough, and freeze each portion in a plastic freezer bag greased with about a tablespoon of olive oil for another dinner.
Assemble Your Toppings
With grilled pizza, the crust is the star. Choose a few simple ingredients that can showcase the smoky flavor and crispy crust. Or go for minimalism: top the grilled bread with a brushing of good olive oil, a sprinkling of coarse salt, and bit of chopped fresh herbs.
Suggested bases: marinara, pesto, flavored olive oil, salsa verde.
Suggested cheeses: mozzarella, fresh mozzarella, ricotta, feta cheese, Parmesan, Gorgonzola.
Ideas for toppings: grilled vegetables, fresh figs, fresh herbs, fresh arugula, toasted pine nuts, olives or capers, caramelized onions, roasted garlic.
Grill the Crust
Prepare the grill for high heat.
Shape the dough into rounds, either stretching it by hand or using a rolling pin. Each round should be no more than ¼ inch thick. You can stack the rounds by layering waxed paper, parchment, or a clean well-floured kitchen towel in between the individual crusts. When the coals are hot, have all of your toppings ready near the grill.
The easiest method for grilling pizza is to par-bake the crust: grill one side just long enough to firm up the crust so you can move it easily. By taking it off the heat, you can take your time arranging the toppings and are less likely to burn the bottom of the pizza.
Begin by placing one or two dough rounds on the grill.
- You can oil the grill grates, but it’s not necessary; once the crust has set, after about three minutes, it should be easy to pull off the heat with tongs, a spatula, or your fingers.
- Don’t worry if it droops a little through the grate–it’ll firm up fast.
- After two to three minutes, give it a little tug–it should move easily. If it sticks, give it another minute or so.
- When the crust is set, remove it from the heat and transfer it to a plate or peel; flip it over so the “done” side is up, and add the toppings.
Grilled Veggie Pizza
5 cups all-purpose flour ( or half whole wheat and half white flour)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon instant yeast (or active dry yeast, dissolved)
3 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 3/4 cups room temperature water
Combine ingredients in a mixer with a dough hook and knead for six minutes. Let rise until doubled. Divide into 4 balls of dough and keep covered.
Toppings: (Enough for 4 pies)
- 2 pounds mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 1 large bell pepper, chopped
- 1 large red pepper, chopped
- 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
- 2 cups sweet corn
- 4 scallions, diced
- Fresh oregano or basil
Place ingredients in small bowls near the grill for easy access.
- 2 cups tomato sauce (depending on how saucy you like your pies)
- 1-2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- Big pinch of salt and pepper
Stir together sauce ingredients and place near grill.
Eggplant Caponata Crostini
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for grilling
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons golden raisins
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts
- 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red-pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon unsweetenedcocoa powder
- 1-2 tablespoons sugar or Truvia sugar substitute equivalent
- 1/3 cup red-wine vinegar
- Coarse salt
- 1 small eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch slices
- 8- 1/4-inch-thick diagonal slices Italian bread
- Fresh basil leaves, for garnish
- Preheat a BBQ grill or grill pan over medium-high heat. Brush both sides of eggplant slices lightly with oil. Grill 6 minutes on each side. Cut into ½ inch cubes.
- Start sauce while eggplant grills. Don’t turn off grill.
- In a 5-quart Dutch oven or pot, heat oil over medium-high. Add onion, raisins, pine nuts, garlic, and red-pepper flakes; cook stirring occasionally, until onion has softened, 4 to 6 minutes.
- Add tomato paste, cocoa powder, and sugar; cook, stirring, until tomato paste is fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Add eggplant, vinegar, and 1/3 cup water.
- Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture is thick, 7 to 10 minutes. Season with salt and more sugar (up to 1 tablespoon), as desired.
- Brush both sides of bread with olive oil. Grill, turning once, until toasted and grill marks appear, about 2 minutes per side.
- Top grilled bread with caponata; garnish with basil leaves. Caponata can be refrigerated up to 5 days in an airtight container; let cool completely before storing.
Grilled Caprese Sandwiches
- 8 slices round narrow Italian bread
- 2 large garlic cloves, halved
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 8 slices (6 oz.) fresh mozzarella cheese
- 2 ripe plum tomatoes, thinly sliced (8 slices)
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Rub a side of each slice of bread with a cut side of garlic and brush with oil. Spread the plain side of half the bread slices with a thin layer of pesto.
Layer cheese and tomatoes on top of the pesto. Sprinkle with black pepper. Top with remaining bread, garlic side up. Grill sandwiches until grill marks appear and cheese is beginning to melt, 6 minutes, turning once.
Stuffed Grilled Zucchini
- 4 medium zucchini
- 5 teaspoons olive oil, divided
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
- 1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
Cut zucchini in half lengthwise; scoop out pulp, leaving 1/4-in. shells. Brush with 2 teaspoons oil; set aside. Chop pulp.
In a skillet, saute pulp and onion in remaining oil. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Add bread crumbs; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove from the heat. Stir in the mozzarella cheese, oregano and salt.
Spoon into zucchini shells. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Grill, covered, over medium heat for 10-15 minutes or until zucchini is tender.
Tomatoes Stuffed with Cannellini and Couscous
After the initial assembly, this dish takes care of itself. If you like, you can prepare and grill the tomatoes well ahead of serving. The flavors will get even better.
- ½ cup couscous
- 4 tablespoons olive oil (preferably extra-virgin), divided
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 cup vegetable broth
- 6 large ripe but firm tomatoes (10 ounces each; about 4 3/4 pounds total)
- 1 can (15 ounces) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
Preheat the grill. Coat a 9″ x 6″ disposable foil pan with cooking spray.
In a medium skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 3 minutes, or until the onion is softened.
Meanwhile, cut 1/4″ slices from the tomato tops. Discard the tops. With a serrated knife or spoon, scoop out the tomato flesh, leaving 1/4″-thick walls. Set aside. Finely chop the tomato flesh. Add to the onion along with the beans, parsley, Italian seasoning, pepper, vegetable broth and the couscous. Stir to combine. Spoon into the reserved tomato shells, mounding slightly. Spoon any extra stuffing into the base of the pan. Drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Cover with aluminum foil.
Place on the grill away from direct heat. Grill, rotating the pan occasionally, for about 45 minutes, or until the tomatoes are tender and the tops are golden. Allow to stand for 20 minutes.
Grilled Stuffed Eggplant
- 3 small eggplants, halved lengthwise
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs
- 3 plum tomatoes, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
Preheat a covered grill to medium-high.
With a small, sharp knife, scoop out the flesh of each eggplant leaving 1/4-inch thick shells and place in a medium bowl. Add the cheese, bread crumbs, tomatoes, parsley, garlic, salt, and pepper. Stir to mix. Stuff the mixture tightly into each eggplant half. Drizzle with the oil.
Place the eggplant halves in a disposable aluminum foil pan. Set on the grill. Cover and grill for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the eggplant is soft and the top is golden and crisp.
Portobello Burgers with Roasted Peppers, Mozzarella, and Caramelized Onions
This grilled “burger” with all the trimmings will satisfy even devoted beef fans. Serve some oven sweet potato fries on the side.
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 4 portobello mushroom caps, about 3 1/2-4 ounces each
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 4 slices fresh mozzarella cheese, about 2 ounces
- 4 (100-calorie) light multi-grain english muffins or hamburger buns
- 2 jarred roasted red peppers, drained and cut into strips
Preheat the grill.
Heat 1 teaspoon of the oil in a small nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sugar and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 5 to 6 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Combine the remaining 2 teaspoons oil and the vinegar in a small bowl. Brush the mixture over the mushroom caps and sprinkle with the salt and pepper.
Grill, covered, turning occasionally, until tender, 9 to 11 minutes. Top each with 1 slice of the cheese and grill until the cheese melts, about 1 to 2 minutes longer. Transfer to a plate and keep warm.
Toast the muffins or rolls. Place the bottom half of each muffin on a plate and top with 1 portobello cap, one-fourth of the roasted peppers, and one-fourth of the onion. Top with the remaining muffin halves.
- Rustic Grilled Pizza (foodservicewarehouse.com)
- Three Cheese Grilled Pizza (dailycrave.wordpress.com)
- Jim Lahey’s Tips for Perfect Grilled Pizza (thekitchn.com)
- Grill Better, And Don’t Just Grill Meat: ‘BBQ Queens’ Karen Adler & Judith Fertig’s Best Tips (blisstree.com)
- Make-a Your Own-a Pizza Dough (fivewomencook.wordpress.com)
- 10 Foods You Didnt Know You Could Grill (habwwe.wordpress.com)
- Vegetarian Barbecue Ideas (apartmentguide.com)