I used the flat side of my cast iron griddle on top of the outdoor grill to sear the scallops - which is the same way I make my crispy salmon. I love the great sear I get with this method. Just be sure the scallops are well dried with paper toweling. If you buy frozen scallops, defrost them overnight in the refrigerator.
The garlic, sun-dried tomato and olive relish makes this a dish that is company-worthy either as a starter or a main dish. The relish would also be excellent with other types of fish or even chicken. Today, I made the scallops as a starter, however, the recipe calls for serving them over angel hair pasta with some of the relish mixed into the pasta which I how I'm planning on using the rest of the relish with another type of fish for dinner tomorrow!
Don't be afraid of the amount of garlic in this recipe. The preparation makes them mild and so delicious. Afterward, I wished I had even added more.
To turn this into a main dish, simply increase the portion size and serve over a bed of your favorite rice or puree potatoes or celery root.
Seared Scallops with Tomato, Olive and Garlic RelishAdapted from Bistro Cooking at Home by Gordon Hamersley
10 whole garlic cloves, peeled and ends trimmed
1/2 cup olive oil (approximately)
1/2 cup black olives, such as Kalamata, pitted and coarsely chopped
3/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, soaked in hot water until softened and coarsely chopped
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper
24 large sea scallops, about 1-1/4 pounds, dried with paper toweling
Chopped basil or parsley for garnish
To make the relish:
Place the garlic cloves in your smallest saucepan. Add enough olive oil to cover the cloves completely. Bring the oil to a simmer, then turn down the heat to low. Cook until the garlic is very tender, 15-20 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the garlic into a bowl. Add 1/3 cup of the olive oil from the pan and reserve the rest for another use (it's delicious for bread-dipping!). Allow the garlic and oil to cool to room temperature. Add the olives, sun-dried tomatoes, shallot, basil and balsamic vinegar. Stir gently without breaking the tender garlic. Season with pepper. Allow the flavors to blend for at least 15 minutes before serving. It will keep in the refrigerator for a few days but allow to come to room temperature before serving.
To sear the scallops:
If you do not have a cast iron griddle or wish to cook the scallops indoors, simple using a pre-heated, large saute pan over medium-high heat. If you do try the griddle on the outdoor grill, preheat the griddle over medium-high heat for at least 5-10 minutes. Spray with non-stick cooking spray and then sear for 3 minutes on one side, flip over and sear for another 1-2 minutes on the other side.
Serve alone with the relish or serve over angel hair pasta with some of the relish tossed in.