April 2, 2014
Last weekend I was getting ready to go out to breakfast with my husband and in the background was a show on PBS that I was semi listening to. Did you ever have one of those moments when suddenly what you aren’t paying attention to suddenly becomes your entire focal point? Lydia Bastianich was pointing a finger at me and telling me I should pay attention because it was the dinner I had waited for. Ok,, she didn’t really call out my name but it was a dinner I could have waited for. I could have literally licked the TV screen. She had put together a dish of mushrooms and scallions and scallops with a beautifully caramelized crust to them and it had my name written all over it.
Later that morning, we were out eating breakfast and I’m telling my husband about this dish. He had the same reaction I did. Conveniently, the bookstore was right next to where we were (I know it was fate) and we ran over. On the spot we bought her new cookbook, “Lydia’s Commonsense Italian Cooking”. Not only did it have this recipe, but several others I will try soon. It’s a great addition to your cookbook collection.
One thing I do want to note on this recipe is that you want dry scallops. You have to ask for them when you go to the market. Typically you get the scallops that have sat in some chemical brine and they are slimy and won’t caramelize well. It’s definitely worth the extra effort and your scallops taste so much better because they haven’t absorbed that chemical brine.
I also added brown rice to this recipe as a starch base. You don’t need it, but it did add a little substance to the meal. I just placed a large spoonful under the mushrooms before serving.
I will definitely make this again. The mushroom combination hit a home run with the garlic and butter flavors hanging on discretely to every mushroom. The crunch of the scallion was a nice sharp bite in comparison to the sweet softness of the scallop.
The next time someone yells at you from the TV to pay attention, do it. This really hit a 4 star YUM rating on my palate. You need to try this!
Scallops, Mushrooms, and Scallions
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 6 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced thin
- 8 cups sliced mixed mushrooms (button, shiitake, cremini and chanterelles)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 bunches of scallions, trimmed and roughly chopped (approximately 2 cups)
- 6 fresh thyme sprigs
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (I used 4 tablespoons)
- 1 1/4 pounds sea scallops, foot or side muscle removed
- Good quality balsamic vinegar for optional drizzling
- In a large nonstick skillet, over medium high heat, melt 3 tablespoons of olive oil.
- Add garlic
- Once garlic begins to sizzle, add the mushrooms and season with 1/2 teaspoon salt.
- Cook until mushrooms begin to wilt, about 6 to 7 minutes.
- Add the scallions, thyme sprigs and butter and cook until the mushrooms are tender, another 3 to 4 minutes.
- Transfer to a serving plate and keep warm, removing thyme sprigs.
- Wipe out the skillet, return to medium high heat and add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil.
- Season the scallops with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, turning once, until just cooked through, about 1 to 2 minutes per side.
- Serve on mushrooms, drizzled with balsamic vinegar if desired.