Melissa Clark’s One Dish Wonder

With only five ingredients, this dish delivers big-time in flavor.

On time-pressed weeknights, I like nothing better than a one-pot dinner that cooks up in mere minutes and leaves you soulfully satisfied far, far longer.

Melissa Clark’s “Sauteed Scallops with Tomatoes and Preserved Lemon” is such a dish.

It’s from her new cookbook, “Cook This Now” (Hyperion), of which I recently received a review copy. Its 120 recipes are arranged by season and month to take advantage of your local farmers market offerings. I’ve already got half the pages bookmarked, as these are wonderfully straightforward recipes that not only entice with their flavors but with their ease of preparation.

This particular recipe by the famed New York Times food writer has only five ingredients (not including salt and pepper), but tastes like so much more.

It’s basically just scallops sauteed with garlic, chopped tomato, preserved lemon and a knob of butter. The tomatoes accentuate the sweetness of the scallops, while the preserved lemon lends bursts of intense briny tang. The butter brings it all together, making the sauce rounder and a little luxurious.

You can buy preserved lemons in gourmet grocery stores. But it’s far better to make them, since they are a cinch to do. Just follow my easy directions for putting up a jar of them.

Serve the scallops with crusty bread, couscous or rice, if you like.

Then, do like I do and keep bags of frozen wild scallops from Trader Joe’s in your freezer. That way, you can make this dish any time. And believe me, you will want to make it again and again.

Sauteed Scallops with Tomatoes and Preserved Lemon

(Serves 2)

1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 pound sea scallops, patted dry

1 medium tomato, cored and chopped

1 tablespoon finely chopped or pureed preserved lemon

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add scallops, tomato, lemon, and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring, until scallops are just opaque, about 2 minutes. Season with additional salt, if needed, and pepper.

Note: Clark advises not to make the dish without preserved lemon, since nothing else can replicate its complex flavor. Shrimp can be substituted for the scallops, if you like. Chopped herbs such as chives, chervil, basil or mint also can be added.

From “Cook This Now” by Melissa Clark

Plus: How to Make Your Own Preserved Lemons

Another Melissa Clark Recipe: Manhattan Bay Scallop Chowder with Fennel

Another Scallop Recipe: Dorie Greenspan’s Scallops with Caramel-Orange Sauce

And: Ad Hoc’s Caramelized Sea Scallops

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Date: Thursday, 27. October 2011 5:26
Trackback: Trackback-URL Category: Fruit, General, Recipes (Savory), Seafood

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  1. 1

    That is a wonderful dish! An interesting combination of ingredients.



  2. 2

    Wow! How is that for quick, easy, and delicious?! Great use for preserved lemon here.

  3. 3

    This looks positively stunning! And with such an easy prep and list of ingredients, I will certainly be having this for dinner very soon.

  4. 4

    I’m always looking for a good scallops recipe and this one looks amazing! We have some preserved lemons in the fridge and I can’t wait to make this!

  5. 5

    not sure if i trust scallops this far inland unless they were frozen right after they were caught. If i can make a meal that delicious in just min then i’m game.

  6. 6

    I’m always a sucker for scallops! :)

  7. 7

    I love scallops too! And just the thought of those preserved lemons have already gotten my mouth watering.

  8. 8

    I love scallops and this sounds like such a perfect way to cook them – simple flavours and the butter adds richness :) I must try making my own preserved lemons too one day.

  9. 9

    Carolyn, I too am a huge fan of the easy one pot recipes that keeps giving me easy meals for days. I never think of scallops in this way, but now I will! I bet that preserved lemon gives a great flavor.

  10. 10

    Sign me up coach! But you simply must try some Himalayan pink salt. I get mine from Sustainable Sourcing The flavor is so much better than regular salt! Thanks for sharing this recipe—I can’t wait to try it!

  11. 11

    I love simple, tasty dishes like this. Such a pretty dish as well.

    Thanks for sharing :)

  12. 12

    I just started a jar of preserved lemons (first time!) a week ago. Can’t wait to use them. Like for this dish.

  13. 13

    This is definitely a one-dish wonder! Love that it has some delicious looking sauce too!

  14. 14

    This does sound perfect, I always love, and do not use enough of in my opinion, preserved lemons. Bring it on.

  15. 15

    […] Other Melissa Clark Recipes: Sauteed Scallops with Tomatoes and Preserved Lemons […]

  16. 16

    I was searching blogs for preserved lemon recipe ideas and I came across yours. Would you mind if I sent people here from our blog?

  17. 17

    […] are a few recipes I have found on other blogs that I would recommend trying… Melissa Clark’s “Sauteed Scallops with Tomatoes and Preserved Lemon” Erika’s Kitchen “Garbanzo green garlic hummus recipe with preserved lemon and sesame […]

  18. 18

    […] Sauteed Scallops with Tomato & Preserved Lemon (from Food Gal, recipe by Melissa Clark) with Cous Cous […]

  19. 19

    LOVE love love scallops – great recipe!

  20. 20

    I love the sound of this recipe. Simple flavors and ingredients married to create an exceptional dish.

    I have some preserved lemons that I made prior to going on vacation that will be ready when I get home. I plan to use those lemons to make this dish. Thanks for sharing. Now to check out her book on Amazon.

  21. 21

    Thank you for a wonderful recipe. Have a great weekend!

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