I was inspired by Beppi’s gratinata of asparagus the other night, and it reminded me how good most things are when smothered in toasted bread crumbs, butter and cheese. Scallops are particularly good in this preparation because they are light and clean tasting on their own, so the rich crumb topping enhances their natural sweetness.
Although we on the east end of Long Island get local scallops 12 months a year, my fish monger reminded me today how sweet they’ve been lately (sometimes they’re sweeter than others). They looked and smelled great, so they’re our main course tonight.
A couple of posts ago, I gave you my method of making seasoned bread crumbs, which I’m using tonight. Once the crumbs are made (use Progresso if you must), the dish is extremely simple and quick.
Butter the baking dish, lay out the scallops in one layer, then sprinkle with crumbs, some grated parmiggiano and dot with butter. Bake at high heat, then broil until golden and blistering.
I’m serving mine tonight with kale and bacon and some asparagus. There is a spring crop of organic kale at my local farm stand (thank God they’re open again!) that I couldn’t resist.
Gratinata of Scallops
1 lb sea scallops
1/2 c seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 c grated parmiggiano
2 tbls butter, cut into tiny pieces
2 tbls extra-virgin olive oil
salt and black pepper
2 tbls chopped parsley
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a shallow buttered baking dish, arrange scallops in one layer. Sprinkle lightly with salt and black pepper. Top with bread crumbs and cheese. Dot with butter and drizzle with oil.
Bake for about 10 minutes, then place under the broiler for about 3 – 4 minutes, or until golden and bubbling.