I used to think the scallop bonbon was wrapped in bacon with a dollop of maple syrup*.
The sweet and nutty flavors of scallops are instead naturally drawn out with tomatoes and smooth roasted garlic. You’ll be popping these in your mouth like candy. Can’t stop. Won’t stop.
*Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
- 1.5 - 2 pounds scallops
- 2 whole garlic heads
- 2 tbsp cup olive oil
- 3 oz chopped sun-dried tomatos
- 3 tbsp chopped shallot
- 1 tbsp finely chopped basil
- 1 tbsp balsamic
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp canola oil
- parsley for garnish
1. Roast the garlic. Preheat your oven to 400F. Remove any loose skins on the garlic heads, then chop the tops off of them horizontally so that all the cloves are partially exposed. Place the two heads on some foil and pour the olive oil over them. Wrap them up so that the oil does not leak (I usually place this on a pan just in case). Roast these in the oven for about 40 minutes. The cloves should be soft and will shoot out when pressed with a knife.
2. While your garlic roasts, make the tomato confit. If your sun dried tomatoes are dry from a pouch, place them in water for about 15-20 minutes to soften them. If they’re from a jar or can, proceed without this step. Mix the tomatoes, shallot, basil, balsamic, and lemon juice in a jar and give it a good shake to combine. Set this aside.
3. Sear the scallops. The two main secrets to perfectly seared scallops are high heat and minimal liquid. The pan has to be hot and you can’t have wet scallops or you’re essentially boiling them in their own liquid or the butter in the pan (if you use too much). So get the pan hot on medium high heat, and add ½ tbsp butter and ½ tbsp oil for each batch of scallops that you sear. The scallops should not be crowded, and should have space between each. Sear for 2-3 minutes each side, and one extra minute on each side afterward.
4. Plate the scallops. Give the confit another shake. Then gently add the garlic cloves. Give a quick stir, but not too hard as to not break apart the soft garlic cloves. Place the confit around and on the plate, drizzling some of the liquid over the scallops as well. Add some chopped fresh parsley, and you’re ready to mow!