A “flower” presentation from C Chicago (now Ocean Cut Chicago).  Scallop crudo with pistachio oil, pomegranate arils and fresh herbs, from La Pecora Bianca | NYC.  Arugula pesto and pink peppercorns plus gold leaf, at Sushi Roku | Katana.  Briefly seared with fresh figs at Sushi Roku | Scottsdale.  Asian-style with cucumber, red bell pepper sauce, cilantro and fresh lychee from Nobu | Los Angeles.
We love sashimi, we love scallops, we love scallop ceviche, and we love how easy it is to make a beautiful raw scallop appetizer (or lightly seared, if you insist).
If your family or guests don’t like the idea of “sashimi,” use the Italian word, for raw fish: crudo.
Our very favorite is to slice sea scallops in half and plate them a bit of EVOO, a splash of yuzu, a garnish of salmon caviar or tobiko, and if we have them, a sprinkle of microgreens or minced chives.
For a dinner party, with all the other demands of the kitchen, we like to start the meal with a flavorful appetizer that takes very little time to prepare.
It’s a great dish for warm or cold weather.
You can serve the scallops family-style on a platter, or individually plated. Either way, check out the garnishes below.
For wine: Sauvignon blanc is a favorite of ours; but also look at gewürtztraminer, grüner veltliner, pinot blanc or riesling. Big, oaky chardonnays need not apply.
SERVING SUGGESTIONS FOR RAW SCALLOPS
First, add some color. Pale scallops on a pale plate need some visual excitement. Think red and green accents. When trolling the produce aisles, look for bright colors.
Caviar: salmon, sturgeon, tobiko or flavored whitefish caviar (the different types of caviar).
Heat: chile-infused olive oil, thin-sliced jalapeño, Thai or other red chile
Japanese accents: edamame, grated ginger, julienne of nori (seaweed sheets), nori komi furikake (seasoned seaweed flakes), seaweed salad, toasted sesame seeds, togarashi (spice mix).
Microgreens, sprouts, leafy herbs (basil, cilantro, mint, parsley) or minced chives.
Peppery vegetables: arugula, radish, watercress.
Red: diced red bell pepper, pink peppercorns, pomegranate arils, red chile flakes or finely minced red jalapeño.
Salad course: dress mesclun and red onion salad with olive oil and lemon; top with raw scallops and optional kalamata olives. Or, make a beet, cucumber or red cabbage salad, carefully flavoring with herbs and citrus zest. Place it in the center of the plate and surround it with the scallops.
Seasonal: ramps, red grapefruit, spring peas and pea shoots, raw corn kernels, rhubarb, etc.
Surf and turf: with cooked bacon, Chinese sausage (but nothing too spicy that will overwhelm the delicate scallop flavor).
Sweet: with mango, strawberries and an orange juice-sherry vinegar-olive oil dressing.
Three ways: sliced raw scallop, scallop tartare, ceviche or a grilled scallop.
More: black olives, capers, diced or sliced fruit, flavored sea salt, snow peas, sugar snap peas, wildcard (anything you like!).
Next, pick your dressing:
We like to put the dressing on the plate, and lay the scallops on top of it.
Dabs of puréed vegetable or pesto (think seasonal, e.g. pea or rhubarb purée in spring)
Basil or rosemary infused olive oil
Lemon vinaigrette or rice wine vinaigrette
Salsa cruda/pico de gallo or other favorite
EVOO, the more flavorful, the better
Infused olive oil (basil, garlic, rosemary, etc.)
Nut oil (hazelnut, pistachio, etc.)
Depending on what you use, consider an optional lemon or lime wedge.
Onto our featured recipe. Because it’s winter as we write this, we’re going seasonal with beautiful citrus.
Any citrus works, but we especially like red grapefruit, blood orange and cara cara orange. How about a medley of all three?