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Thursday
Apr082010

SCALLOPS ON CREAMY LEEKS 

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The funny thing about this recipe is that I don't even care much for scallops, or any shellfish for that matter. However, I felt we were due for another simple meal option. I had the sweetest comment back when I posted the Walnut Crusted Salmon and Edamame Mash from a reader named Mel (are you still out there Mel? Because I've been thinking of you.) who said that recipe was her go-to dinner for entertaining. So Mel, hopefully this is another idea for you, if of course, you are one for scallops. It is fairly quick, simple and tastes much more impressive than the effort it requires. I'm pretty certain that is an instant selling point right there.

My suggestion would be to have all the ingredients for the scallop portion, cut and ready to go, because once you start searing the scallops, everything moves quickly. If you aren't a scallop person either, the leeks are worth your time. We're on the tail end of their season around here, and the two giant ones I found were just fabulous. Leeks are one of those impressive vegetables where less fuss, is more. They reduce down to pillowy, subtle onion strings of caramelized wonderfulness. I generously shared the scallops we made, but the extra leeks got tucked away in secret tupperware for yours truly.2 copy

SCALLOPS ON CREAMY LEEKS // Serves 2 to 3 people
It's hard to be exact with this, as the size of scallops you buy will vary the cooking time and amount of butter and wine you will need. For an entree, I suggest using larger scallops. If you can find a fish monger who sells fresh scallops, not frozen/thawed ones, the texture will be best.

3 Cups Cleaned, Chopped Leeks (2 Large Leeks, halved, sliced)
1 Tbsp. Butter
1/4 Cup Milk
Salt/Pepper

1/2 Lb. Fresh Scallops
1/4 Cup Whole Wheat Flour (I Imagine that rice flour would work as a gluten free alternative)
1 Tbsp. Unsalted Butter
1 tsp. Dijon Mustard
1/2 Cup White Wine
1/3 Cup Chopped Shallots
3-4 Tbsp. Finely Chopped Parsley
Zest and Juice of 1 Lemon3 copy

1. In a large saute pan, heat the first 1 tbsp. butter until melted, add the leeks and salt, and stir around to coat. Add a tbsp. of water if the pan is looking really dry. Leave the heat on medium and continue to stir every few minutes to avoid any burning, for about 15 minutes. Prepare your scallop ingredients in the meantime.
2. Add the milk and pepper to the leeks, turn the heat to medium/low and continue to cook while you take care of your scallop business. As long as the heat is on low, you can't really overcook them here.
3. Pat the scallops dry with a paper towel and season with salt and pepper. Gently toss them around in the flour.
4. In another pan, let them brown on one side (about 2 minutes), gently flip to the other side and place them in a buttery part of the pan if possible (sear another 2 minutes). Add the shallot, dijon, wine and parsley and give the pan a few shakes to move things around and allow the temperature to come back up to a simmer (again, probably 2 minutes). Remove the scallops to a plate, use the spoon to scrape up the bits on the bottom of the pan and stir the sauce. Pour the sauce on top of the scallops. Squeeze the lemon juice on top.
5. To plate, put a big spoonful of the leeks and then the scallops on top with some of the shallot sauce goodness. Garnish with the lemon zest, fresh ground pepper and fresh parsley.4 copy

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Reader Comments (53)

This looks gorgeous and delicious! I am salivating here!!!

April 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda

This may be the most delicious scallop dish I have ever seen. The creamy leeks sound fantastic!

April 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJessica @ How Sweet

Scallops AND leeks?! Yum, Sara. This is on my list of dinners for next week. But what to do with the rest of the bottle of white wine...hmmm...guess I'll have to drink it. Darn. Kudos lady. You sure know what you're doin':)

That looks great, Sara! I'm doing a garden this summer & actually just started some leek seeds. It takes them forever to grow - but when they're ready, I'll definitely have to try this. Hope everything is going well for you.

April 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCourtney

Mmm leeks are so yummy! And I adore scallops but have not had them in a while! Must try them!

April 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEmily

Lovely! Nice to have another option for leeks other than potato and leek soup (which I love, but since it's spring now, it's time to change things up)

April 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNicole

You had me at creamy leeks. I have been having a leekfest lately. I swear I'm using them in everything. Living in the Ocean State puts me in touch with tons of seafood and I adore scallops so this is a win-win for me.

I'll be dreaming of those creamy leeks tonight, lol.

Sigh! If leeks and scallops weren't so expensive right now, I'd be requesting this for my birthday supper next week. One of my favorite, most comforting meals is soft scrambled eggs on toasted garlic-oil bread with creamy leeks very similar to this recipe. They are divine. Melt on your tongue. Ohhh this looks like such a great combination! Bookmarking.

Cheers,

*Heather*

April 8, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterheather

Your description of the leeks is what sold me on this recipe. I'm a huge leek fan, and my boyfriend is a scallop nut, so this is definitely going on my to-make list.

April 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAllison

True story: scallops is the one and only kind of meat that I miss. This is the kind of dish that would make it very difficult for me to stand my ground.

Oh, I think your creamy leeks would be fantastic in a frittata...

April 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTracy

I love buttery caramelized leeks. I totally agree that preparing them as simple as possible is the best way to enjoy them!

April 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJacqui

It looks and sounds like a match made in heaven!
I love scallops and have yet to find more ways to incorporate leeks into my meals. Thank you!

April 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnnika

I love scallops but almost never make them...yours look luscious and inspiring...will have to make them soon.

April 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterWinnie

stop it with this right now!!! i need to eat/make this as soon as possible. xo

April 8, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkristine

Haven't visited you here in far too long. Looks like you're up to same old delicious tricks!

April 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterThe Leftoverist

i love leeks. a lot. this looks so tasty.

April 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHannah

wow THAT I will eat. In fact I might just make the leeks on their own with something else like poached eggs.

April 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterForage

definitely does look like it's harder to make than it is! i still think about that salmon dish and am trying to get around to making it since i have everything i need at home, but i will soon :)

April 9, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterheather @ chiknpastry

This looks so fresh and delicious. I can't wait to try it! I'm having a mild leek obsession as of late.

April 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJohanna

This looks delicious!!! I must try making it.

April 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJenny

I love love this dish, looks soooo good!

April 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCherine

I made that salmon and edamame mash for my sweetie for valentines, day, did I tell you that? I did. And it was awesome. And I could totally see it as a go to dish for entertaining. Plus I made non-mashed edamame with that same flavor profile and it was just as good and easier!

But the point is, this dish sounds awesome, and easy, and like it could be another go to for entertaining. I'm totally a scallop person and I'm totally going to make this. Plus, have you ever grilled scallops? They're even better. Although maybe more for your sweetie than you if you're not a scallop person. :)

April 9, 2010 | Unregistered Commentertracy

I got so exited when I saw this recipe because:
1)I have 3 leeks sitting in my fridge & didn't really have any new ideas on how to cook them
2)My boyfriend is allergic to scallops but he is currently in europe on vacation so I am eating every shellfish in site.

you've made my day :) thanks

Yes, I am here Sara. Been checking in often and silently wishing you well. When you announced your recent brave new step I cheered aloud and teetered again on my own fence of corporate track versus entrepreneurial thrill. I’m not ready to make a choice just yet – it takes a quiet of the mind to get there, doesn’t it? Someday soon, perhaps. As for leeks and scallops, we’ve not found a proper fish monger in our new neighbourhood but can’t wait to soon share this recipe with friends – it is perfectly simple and just the thing to serve with a glass of chilled white wine as the weather warms. But for now, I’m thinking of a detour on the walk with the dog to stop at the green grocer for leeks – your reader’s suggestion of soft eggs and creamy leeks on toast sounds like just the tonic for a grey Toronto Saturday morning. I’ll continue to send you my very best for your success if you’ll agree to keep creating recipes with which Mr. G and I can delight our friends. Shall we agree to that deal?

April 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMel

oooh. This one was for me. I love scallops and leeks. Thank you!

April 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine

Just made this--thanks for a great, seasonal recipe. We served the leeks and scallops over pureed, roasted cauliflower with a bit of horseradish. It was fantastic.

April 10, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterElizabeth

everything i love in one dish. what is it about oniony caramelized goodness and cream that they mix and mingle so well. i really enjoy scallops, but it's probably the leeks that i'd sneak back to the kitchen for spoonfuls of in the middle of the night.

I just discovered your blog and absolutely love it! Your pictures inspire me to cook. I look forward to tasting all these delicious recipes!

April 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMidori

Leeks are lovely under any circumstances, though I've rarely met another as willing as you (and I) to make a whole heap of them and call them supper. Scallops or no, this looks like a keeper.

April 12, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermolly

I think leeks are my favorite vegetable. They are so versatile and you can pretty much throw them into any dish and it will turn out lovely. I've always shied away from cooking scallops, I lack the courage :) When I do decide to step out of my comfort zone I shall join Mel and the many others and give this dish a go. It is simple and sophisticated, and of course plated so beautifully!

April 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCoco @ Roost

Sara, this is so simple, healthy, and delicious! Bravo! I actually substituted shrimp for scallops because some jumbo ones were on sale at Whole Foods and it turned out great. This is the first recipe of yours I have made and it will definitely not be the last!

April 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHannah

Dang, that looks delicious. I'm trying to step up as far as meals are concerned and find go-to recipes that aren't nachos. Thanks for the advice on having everything ready to go once you start searing; that's the sort of thing that always trips me up during cooking.

April 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnne

Pleasantly simple and aesthetically charming dish. I like scallops, no matter how they're cooked. One of the BEST shellfish around.

I love that you floured the scallops, great idea! I love scallops and leeks, so this sounds delicious and so easy to make.

I'm completely drooling. Both the scallops and leeks sound just fabulous -- and both dishes are fast enough to make on a weeknight, and yet totally elegant. You are brilliant, as always.

April 14, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterlo

I made the leeks tonight as a side dish for my family Sunday dinner... they were delicious!!!!

April 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHeather from the bar

[...] (Thanks Trader Joe’s), a walk to the beach and family dinner (for a side dish I made these!  mmm mmm good).  I am sad to see the weekend go. However, this week will bring Conan’s [...]

[...] Delicious-Looking Scallop Recipes: Sprouted Kitchen’s Scallops on Creamy Leaks Scallops from Last Night’s Dinner Scallop Salad with Sweet Vanilla Chili Dressing from Steamy [...]

This is simply divine. I do love your salmon and edamame dish. The two ingredients are perfect for each other just like this one.

April 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDivina

Can you believe I've never had a scallop? Wow, I need to get on that!! Leeks are one of my favorites...I need to remember to incorporate them more in my cooking.

May 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

[...] the neighbors and my newest favorite friend. I basically followed this recipe from Sprouted Kitchen http://sproutedkitchen.com/?p=1197 with a few changes. I added powdered wasabi to the flour the scallops were dredged in and used [...]

came to your site via inpraiseofleftovers.com + have been planning on making this since my first visit back when. made it tonite + i'm sold! it's perfect. your site is gorgeous + now i can attest that it's delicious too. looking forward to coming back.

May 10, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjordan

I'd never made scallops before, but this recipe turned out wonderfully! I loved the taste of the creamy leeks and the scallops were cooked perfectly! I served this with steamed asparagus and some crusty homemade bread!

May 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCari

[...] Seared Scallops on Creamy Leeks. I found this recipe while browsing online in search of something new and different for scallops.  I’ve done caramelized scallops plenty of times, and while they are delicious I wanted something different for a change.  This recipe is spot on.  I found it at Sprouted Kitchen.  You can find the direct link to this recipe here. [...]

I love it !

July 4, 2010 | Unregistered Commenteramy wang

I tried this recipe last night. It was perfect. I did not use scallops, but tilapia instead...it's what I had on hand. I also used cream instead of milk and added just a touch of grated swiss cheese to the leeks. The sauce is spot on with the leeks. Every one at the table loved it.

July 8, 2010 | Unregistered Commentertori

Finally made this tonight and it was divine! Easy and good!

July 31, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBridget Stachowski

[...] to be a relaxing, romantic date night at home. The menu: seared scallops with creamy leeks, (a Sprouted Kitchen recipe that I’d been dying to try), paired with a savignon blanc and a garden salad. [...]

Any dairy free subs? nut milk or coconut milk?

October 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAshleyL

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