If you’re looking for a refined dinner that comes together in mere minutes, this is the recipe for you. Scallops are best served when they are quickly seared, developing a golden brown crust on each side. The result is a rich buttery flavor with great texture.
I particularly love serving scallops with a bright, herby chimichurri, a delicious sauce hailing from South America, where it is so popular it’s eaten with everything from grilled meats to leftovers from the refrigerator. It’s incredibly easy to make and the ingredients can be found any time of year, but note that it’s best when served within a day or so of making it, so blend up only small batches that can be used up quickly.
For the chimichurri, in a food processor or blender, combine the oil, vinegar, lime juice, garlic, parsley, salt, red pepper flakes and 2 tablespoons water and puree until smooth. Season to taste with additional salt, if necessary. Can be made 4 hours in advance. Cover and chill until ready to use.
For the scallops, in a large 12-inch cast iron skillet set over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Dry the scallops well with paper towels and liberally season each side with salt and pepper. Put them in the hot pan and cook until the bottoms of the scallops start to brown around the edges, about 2 minutes. Add the butter to the pan to help them caramelize (don’t add earlier as it could burn). Once the butter melts, flip the scallops and cook until golden brown on the second side and just cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes.
Divide the scallops among 4 serving plates, drizzle with chimichurri sauce, and serve.
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