Friday, June 22, 2012

Grilled Scallops with Watermelon Salsa

Perfect summer dinner:  Grilled scallops with watermelon salsa, sauteed kale, and caramelized tomato-onion quinoa (more on that in upcoming post)-- and of course when it comes to food and me, there's always a story.

My teen daughter,  Kelsey, a budding gourmet and food critic herself, takes a strong interest in menu planning when her dad travels for business.  And if you know anything about teen girls, you know that their desire to share time in a pleasant, bonhomous way with parents is minuscule.    If she wants to hang with me over Ossetra and truffles,  I'm likely to give it a shot.  She and I dine on the dishes she dreams up (yes, I do the procurement and execution) while her far less adventurous brother scarfs hamburgers.  Dad, poor chap, is stuck hearing about these feasts while he roughs it in airport hotels.

Last month, when Dad spent 3 days in Birmingham, AL taking depositions, we had filet with port wine reduction and buttermilk mashed potatoes one night;  the following saw Panko crusted Cajun crab cakes with cilantro slaw...Last night, poor Dad was stuck in transit between here and the west coast while we enjoyed the repast pictured above.  When he asked me about the evening after finally arriving in the wee hours of the morning due to 3 hours of flight delays, he chafed a bit:  "Why is it that I leave and you make these magazine spread dinners, and when I get home it's omelets all around?!".   Well, he has a point.  But in my defense, the omelets are really good.

Anyway, Kelsey planned the menu's side dishes around a Glamour mag article that suggested 5 Foods that everyone should start eating for optimal health, and she asked for grilled scallops with watermelon salsa to accompany the kale and quinoa.  Here's what I did:

Watermelon Salsa

1 1/2 cups cubed watermelon
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
2 scallions, sliced, green and white parts
1/2 tsp finely minced hot pepper (adjust for taste--peppers vary widely in 'heat')
1/2 tsp salt
juice of 1 lime

Mix all ingredients in glass bowl and let sit one hour to blend flavors.


6 large dry scallops
juice of 1/2 lime
salt & pepper

Place scallops on plate, squeeze lime over and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Marinate for about 30 mins.  Oil grill, heat to high, and place scallops on grill.  Cover 1 minute.  Rotate the scallops 90 degrees on the grill (to get the cross-grill marks), cover and cook another minute.  Flip the scallops and repeat this rotation process on other side.  Total cooking time 4-6 minutes, do not overcook.  Remove from grill, plate, and serve with salsa.


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