Fire up the grill and treat yourself to plump sea scallops and garden-fresh radicchio. This is my summer version of surf and turf. Indoor cooks, use a grill pan and the result will be as delicious and easy.
At the seafood counter, get scallops that glisten and are translucent, creamy white. Ask for dry scallops, which mean they have not been treated with sodium tripolyphosphate, aka STP. The alternative, wet scallops are treated with this additive, which is perfectly legal and makes them stay fresh longer and look chalk white and opaque. They also are full of water that inflates their weight. During cooking, this water floods out, which keeps the scallops from searing nicely and leaves them rubbery and tough.
For the earth-related turf part of this dish, select radicchio that feels firm and weighty. The bigger the head, the better – ideally, one big head that is about three-quarters of a pound, although two smaller heads will do. My directions for cutting the radicchio helps you make wedges that stay together on the grill, eliminating the need to use a grill screen.
Using a clean grill brushed with oil, or a dry grill pan, you can cook the scallops without oiling them. Spraying the radicchio wedges instead of brushing them with oil helps them stay together as they cook.
While the grill or grill pan heats to temperature, make the Lime Vinaigrette. Grill the radicchio first since it is fine served lukewarm or at room temperature. Then skewer the scallops, using two skewers inserted side by side. This parallel placement keeps the scallops from falling through the grill and lets you turn them with a quick flip either on the grill or in a pan. Soaking the skewers is unnecessary because the ends barely stick out and the scallops cook quickly.
I particularly like the counterpoint of sweet scallops to gently bitter radicchio and how the tart citrus in this grilled dinner goes with them.
Grilled Scallops and Radicchio with Lime Vinaigrette
- 1 large lime
- 1 tsp. kosher salt divided
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large head radicchio about 3/4 lb.
- Olive oil cooking spray
- 12 dry sea scallops about 3/4 pound
- 8 6-8-inch bamboo skewers
Grate zest from lime into small bowl and set aside. Squeeze juice from lime into another bowl, about 2 tablespoons. Whisk in 1/2 teaspoon of the salt until dissolved. Add 3-4 grinds pepper. Whisk in oil. Set Lime Vinaigrette aside.
Prepare outdoor grill for direct cooking over medium-high heat. Or, set a grill pan over high heat until water flicked on it bounces. Reduce heat to medium-high.
Halve radicchio vertically. Cut each half into 6 wedges, keeping a triangle of white core at the base of each wedge. Spray wedges on both sides with cooking spray, and sprinkle with remaining salt. Using tongs, arrange wedges directly on grill rack or pan until wedges are browned on bottom, with darker areas, 2 minutes. Turn, keeping wedges as much together as possible, and grill until partially collapsed and limp, 1-2 minutes. Divide radicchio among 4 dinner plates.
Line up 3 scallops on work surface. Thread two skewers through sides of scallops, spacing skewers 1/2-inch apart. Repeat with remaining scallops. Coat scallops with cooking spray. Set scallops directly on grill rack and cook, turning once, just until opaque in center when checked with knife, 5 minutes in all. Immediately place scallops on plates along with radicchio, remove skewers and spoon lime vinaigrette over scallops and radicchio. Garnish radicchio with lime zest and serve.
Something Different is written by Dana Jacobi, author of 12 Best Foods Cookbook and contributor to AICR’s New American Plate Cookbook: Recipes for a Healthy Weight and a Healthy Life.
The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) is the cancer charity that fosters research on the relationship of nutrition, physical activity and weight management to cancer risk, interprets the scientific literature and educates the public about the results. It has contributed more than $100 million for innovative research conducted at universities, hospitals and research centers across the country. AICR has published two landmark reports that interpret the accumulated research in the field, and is committed to a process of continuous review. AICR also provides a wide range of educational programs to help millions of Americans learn to make dietary changes for lower cancer risk. Its award-winning New American Plate program is presented in brochures, seminars and on its website, www.aicr.org. AICR is a member of the World Cancer Research Fund International.