The scallop is a marine bivalve mollusk found in all of the world’s oceans. The ones we buy here are primarily from the northeastern US and Canadian waters. Those from Japanese and Chinese waters are used mainly in sushi. They are highly prized as a food source as they are virtually fat free, low in calories and a good source of protein, not to mention they have a slightly sweet yet briny taste.
The shape of the brightly colored, fan-shaped shells of some scallops, with their radiated fluted pattern, are valued by shell collectors everywhere. The design also turns up in fabric edging and clothing detail.
Another famed scallop dish, Coquille St. Jacques, is frequently served in large scallop shells. We’ll do that one some other time.
- 12 oz. scallops
- 1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. olive oil, divided
- 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
- 1/4 c sun-dried tomatoes (packed in oil and well drained), chopped
- 12 oz. mushrooms, sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 finger pinch of salt
- few grindings of black (or mixed color) pepper
- 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper, optional
- 1/8 tsp. paprika
- 12 oz. fresh baby spinach
- 1/2 c coconut milk
- 1/4 c white wine
Preheat oven to 375. Spray 3 quart casserole.
In a large sauté pan, heat 1 tsp. olive oil until hot. Sear scallops on each side to give them a nice crust about 1-2 minutes on each side (no longer). Remove from sauté pan and set aside.
In same pan, heat remaining 1Tbsp. olive oil and sauté onion until translucent but not brown. Add sun-dried tomatoes, mushrooms and garlic. Add salt, pepper, cayenne (if using), and paprika and mix well. Add the white wine, cover and cook for about 5 minutes until mushrooms are soft and tender. Add spinach and cook until wilted. Pour coconut milk over spinach mixture and mix well. Pour everything into prepared casserole. Place scallops on top of spinach mixture and bake for 15 minutes. This is good with brown rice, polenta or risotto. Serves 4.