Grilled Scallop Brochettes with Almond Caper Relish  Recipe
Grilled Scallop Brochettes with Almond Caper Relish

By Diane Rossen Worthington

Scallops are excellent as either a first or main course. I often saute them and glaze them with a sauce.

Here, the scallops are threaded on skewers, marinated in a zesty, citrus marinade and grilled until they are brown and lightly caramelized. Finally, they are presented with a caper, herb and almond relish.

A tip to remember is that fish or seafood should be marinated only for a half-hour before cooking; otherwise, the citrus marinade begins to "cook" the fish. A quick marinade will add flavor without changing the texture of the fish.

Sea scallops work best for this recipe because they grill evenly and don't dry out as quickly as the petite bay scallops. In addition, sea scallops have a meaty texture and are also wonderful for a quick saute. Remember: all scallops are not the same. Look for dry-packed scallops that are chemical-free. Sometimes you can find fresh diver scallops that are usually very large and are hand-selected by the diver. Avoid wet-packed scallops that are preserved by a chemical solution.

The light citrus relish includes toasted almonds, which give the salsa a crunchy, toasty flavor. Scallop Brochettes go nicely with vegetable rice and green beans. To drink? A crisp, lively Sauvignon Blanc is a bright contrast to the sweetness of the scallops and the richness of the almonds.

Grilled Scallop Brochettes with Almond Caper Relish Recipe

Serves 4 to 6.

2 pounds large sea scallops

Marinade:

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 teaspoon minced lime zest

2 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Sauce:

1/3 cup slivered, blanched almonds

1/2 cup finely chopped parsley leaves

1 medium shallot, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

2 tablespoons finely chopped red pepper

1 tablespoon drained capers, finely chopped

1/4 cup fresh lime juice

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup fruity olive oil

1. To prepare the marinade: Place the garlic, lime juice and zest in a small mixing bowl and mix to combine. Add the olive oil and blend completely. Add the salt and pepper. Taste for seasoning.

2. If using bamboo skewers, soak them in cold water for at least 1 hour to prevent them from burning while grilling.

3. Thread the scallops onto the skewers and lay them in a large, shallow, non-aluminum dish. Pour the marinade over the fish and make sure they are all evenly coated. Cover and refrigerate for 1/2 hour; the citrus in the marinade will begin to "cook" the scallops if left longer.

4. To prepare the sauce: Preheat oven to 350 F. Toast the almonds for 5-7 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool and reserve.

5. Place all the ingredients except the oil and almonds in a medium mixing bowl and whisk until combined. Pour the oil in a steady stream into the mixture and whisk until well incorporated. Be careful not to puree the mixture. Spoon it into a serving dish and add the toasted almonds. Taste for seasoning.

6. Prepare the barbecue for medium-high heat grilling. Remove scallops from marinade. Grill the scallops about 3 inches from the flame for 3-4 minutes per side until cooked as desired.

7. Place the brochettes on a serving platter and spoon salsa on top or on the side. Serve immediately.

Advance Preparation:

The salsa may be prepared 4 hours ahead, covered and left at room temperature. Add the almonds just before serving.

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Recipes: "Grilled Scallop Brochettes with Almond Caper Relish "

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