basil-stuffed scallops; tomato; haricots verts, fennel flower


I spotted the largest scallops I’d seen in a long time at the Greenmarket on Wednesday, so I jumped on them. Because I had more time to prepare dinner that evening than I normally allow myself, I decided I could go to one of my favorite scallop recipes. It’s only a little more complicated than the very simple one I use most of the time, but it does involve a few minutes of busy work.

I found the basic recipe years ago, in Mark Bittman’s 1994 book, ‘Fish: The Complete Guide to Buying and Cooking‘, where he describes it as “..among the most impressive appetizers I know” (I actually prepared them as an appetizer only this one time). Today there’s also a link on line, a 2012 piece he did for the New York Times, and it includes a 4-minute video, if that helps.

Bittman suggest that alternative fish for the recipe would include monkfish, cut into medallions, thick swordfish or tuna steaks, or even large shrimp, with cooking times adjusted accordingly.


  • 11 sea scallops (.76 lbs) from Blue Moon Fish, rinsed, dried, slit almost all of the way through horizontally, where they were stuffed with a mixture of basil from Keith’s Farm, one medium-size clove of garlic from Norwich Meadows Farm, salt, and pepper, all chopped together very finely before enough olive oil to form a paste was added, the stuffed scallops then rolled around on a plate with a little more olive oil and pan grilled about 2 or 3 minutes on each side, removed to plates, lemon juice and olive oil drizzled over the top
  • ten very ripe, very sweet cherry tomatoes from Stokes Farm (‘the best cherry tomatoes‘), washed, dried, halved, heated for a minute in a small, low-sided, ancient Pyrex bluish-glass pan, seasoned with salt and pepper, added to the plates with the scallops
  • haricots verts from Berried Treasures Farm, left whole, blanched, drained and dried in the pan over heat, shaking, then set aside until just grilling the scallops, when they were reheated in oil, finished with salt, pepper, and fennel flowers from Mountain Sweet Berry Farm
  • the wine was a French (Loire) white, Éric Chevalier Clos de la Butte Muscadet-Côtes de Grandlieu 2014


There was fruit for dessert

  • half of a small Snow Leopard melon (a small honeydew variety, with firmer flesh) from Norwich Meadows Farm, along with a few late-season sweet cherries from Red Jacket Orchards
  • the music throughout the meal was Q2, streaming