Who loves beautiful and elegant dishes that are absolutely ridiculously easy to make? *Raises hand*.
In my last post, I mentioned that I bought tomatoes with the intention of making a tomato water. What is tomato water you ask? It’s really just a fancy way of saying that it is the collected juices from chopped tomatoes that were sprinkled with sea salt. And that, my friends, is the hardest part of this dish. Chop the tomatoes, give them a generous pinch of sea or kosher salt, toss them in a fine mesh strainer, stir occasionally for an hour or so, voila! You will be left with a thin, opaque “water” that is delicate in flavor. The perfect thing to be spooned around plump sea scallops that have been seared so they are golden brown and glorious on both sides, yet tender and medium-rare in the middle.
I stumbled upon this recipe in an old copy of Bon Appetit magazine and was at once both intrigued and skeptical. Intrigued by its beauty, skeptical of the ingredients. Do tomatoes, limes and mint sound like they’d go together? With seafood no less? I was intrigued enough to find out, and I’m so so glad I did! This is insanely delicious. I find lots of things delicious, but as I ate this, I actually couldn’t believe how good it was. Partly because my misguided skepticism, and partly because this is almost absurdly simple in preparation. I wanted to add a veggie into this dish (you know how much I love my veggies!), so I simply cut raw corn off the cob and added to the bowl right before adding the scallops and tomato water. I really liked the raw corn, it’s sweet and crunchy. You can cook it if you’d rather, but I’d highly recommend trying the raw. Sweet corn is in season, so let’s take advantage! The squeeze of lime adds a welcome punch of acidity and brightness, and the mint just refreshes your palate when you eat a leaf and ever so gently perfumes the dish.
I made this for one, but if you are cooking for someone (or multiple persons) you love, it’s easily doubled or tripled. Enjoy a crisp glass of white wine or rose, and prepare for the exclamations of gastronomic delight!
seared scallops with corn, tomato water and mint.
adapted from bon appetit.
2 heirloom or beefsteak tomatoes, chopped
1/2 teaspoon sea or kosher salt
1 tablespoon fresh mint, leaves torn
4 sea scallops
1 teaspoon grapeseed oil
1 teaspoon butter
1 ear sweet corn, raw kernels removed
Place chopped tomatoes into a fine mesh strainer that is sitting atop of a bowl. Sprinkle with salt and let sit for 45 minutes to an hour, stirring occasionally to collect juices (should have about 1/3 cup). Meanwhile, cut raw corn off of ear, set aside.
Heat a cast iron or heavy bottomed skillet (not non-stick) over medium-high heat. Add oil and butter. Once hot and melted together, add scallops to pan. Cook until deeply golden brown on one side, about 90 seconds. Turn and let cook on opposite side for additional 45-60 seconds until lightly browned and opaque. Remove to paper towel and drain for 30 seconds.
In a shallow bowl, add corn kernels. Add scallops to bowl and gently pour tomato water around the scallops. Squeeze the half of lime over the bowl, garnish with mint. Serve immediately.
Serves 1. Easily multiplied. Plan for four scallops a person.
**Please use organic ingredients wherever possible**