This dish is super simple and downright delicious! My son Joel (Courtsie’s brother) came up with the clever and simple idea, and if you are a scallop lover, we hope you’ll give these a try. This method creates the perfect crispy edge to the scallops with a tender, moist center. We use truffle salt, which complements the scallops perfectly and adds an unbelievably delicious flavor! But, if you’re not a truffle fan, you can use whatever kind of flavored salt happens to be your favorite. The odds of these making it to the plate are low, because you will probably eat them standing right at the grill, but if you have the willpower, serve them on a plate with a wedge of lemon and some fancy microgreens!
So often you cook scallops only to have them weep and end up soggy. The key to making them crispy is to cook them over very high heat. This is accomplished by heating a cast-iron skillet on the barbecue grill and heating the grill as high as yours will go. Our grill goes to 700 F, but most grills go to 500 F and that is just fine. You will just need to cook the scallops slightly longer at a lower temp. The cooking time can also vary depending upon the thickness of the scallops. It helps if you can find uniformly-sized scallops when you go to the market, so they cook more or less the same amount of time.
Joel likes to get fancy by creating a flame when he makes these, but be careful if you do that and have a fire extinguisher handy! The searing will be just as perfect without the fanfare of a big, showy flame!
Truffle-Salted Seared Scallops
- Barbecue or Gas Grill
- Cast Iron Frying Pan
- Good thick potholders
- 8 large sea scallops
- 2 tsp. truffle salt
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup micro greens for garnish
- 1 lemon, cut into quarters for garnish
- Preheat your barbecue grill (with the cast iron already on it) to the highest temp you can between 500°F and 700°F.
- Clean and place the scallops on a plate or tray. Mop up any extra dampness with a clean paper towel. Lightly brush both sides of the scallops with olive oil.
- Season with truffle salt on both the top and bottom of each scallop.
- Drizzle a little bit of olive oil into the pan. Using a good, thick potholder or a long barbecue fork or tongs, swirl the pan to distribute the oil.
- Place the salted scallops into the cast iron and cook for 45 seconds to one minute. When the bottoms look seared to a nice golden-brown, flip them to the other side and repeat the process, drizzling a little more oil if needed for the second side. Cook for another 45 seconds to a minute, or until nicely browned and centers are opaque. (This will depend upon your grill temperature and can vary with different grills. The thickness of the scallops also weighs in as a factor. It could take as much as 1 1/2 minutes per side, but start with less time and add … it’s better not to overcook scallops!) You want the tops and bottoms seared, and the inside opaque, but not dried out.
- Remove from grill and serve hot with a wedge of lemon and micro greens for garnish.