These succulent, sweet, silky morsels of the sea offer one of the most sensual dining experiences on the planet, and if they don’t get you in the mood, check your pulse. Fresh scallops are at their peak from the earliest days of winter right through to the onset of spring. The coldest waters of the Atlantic coast offer the sweetest, most tender scallops, perfect for sharing with your loved one, or ones, I’m not one to judge, this Valentines Day.
Winter Salad and Scallops
Here’s a beautiful preparation for scallops bathed in a citrussy vinaigrette. While this recipe looks fine on it’s own, I am tempted to add some creamy avocado and drop the balsamic vinegar completely. Let’s keep this salad light and delicate, perhaps substituting a splash of sherry vinegar in its place.
Nantucket Bay Scallops with Bay-Scented Butter
This is my style of scallop dish; simple, light and unadorned. This looks like an addictive dish, the highbrow version of popcorn shrimp that you won’t be able to stop popping in your mouth, and your lovers' for that matter, but even love can’t always compete with mind-bending deliciousness!
Stir-Fried Bay Scallops with Ginger, Red Onion, and Toasted Walnuts
Now we’re getting exotic, and while I tend to prefer the simplest preparations for bay scallops, I can see the appeal of these decisive flavors being used to help showcase the purity of flavor scallops bring to the dish. I would tread lightly here, especially with the ginger, but this does sound like a delicious and slightly exotic dish.
Shrimp and Bay-Scallop Risotto with Mushrooms
Now we’re talking about a sensuous dish, silky on silky, and while I really do love the flavors and plump texture of beautiful shrimp, I think I would just add more scallops to this dish and save the shrimp for some fra diavolo the next night. Penance for what I’m planning on doing after devouring this classy risotto!
Linguine with Bay Scallops, Fennel, and Tomatoes
Finally, we get to the dish that is particularly well-suited for a sneaky Valentine’s day. This is as simple, fast, and foolproof as cooking gets, and while I for one am not a fan of Angel Hair pasta -- it’s virtually impossible to get it cooked properly, tending towards the overcooked side of paste on many occasions -- on this date I might make an exception.