Thanks to flash freezing, it’s easy to get decent scallops these days no matter where you live in the country. Trader Joe’s, for example, sells frozen Japanese scallops that I find defrost nicely and hold up almost as well as fresh scallops in cooking.
On Thursday night, I made a little dinner with those scallops and some lentils that I had in the cupboard. With the addition of bacon, shallots, and spinach, it turned out pretty tasty. Here’s the recipe:
Seared Scallops on Lentils with Bacon and Spinach
Serves two people
6-8 scallops, fresh or previously frozen
1 c lentils
2 Tbs olive oil
3 pieces of bacon, diced
1/8 c chopped shallots (onions will also work)
1/8 c chopped celery
1 1/2 c spinach
1 bay leaf
4 c broth
Salt and Pepper
In a frying pan, cook the diced bacon on medium heat until crispy. Remove the bacon from the pan and drain on a paper towel. Add the shallots to the bacon grease and cook until soft. Repeat with celery. If needed, add a dash of olive oil.
Next, add the lentils to the pan. Stir the lentils around until they are coated with bacon grease, then add the broth, bay leaf, and spinach. Cover and cook until the lentils are soft, about 30 minutes.
Then the lentils are done, add the bacon back in and stir. Taste and adjust flavoring with salt and pepper. Don’t forget to remove the bay leaf.
Keep the lentils warm while you cook the scallops. To do this, put the oil in a second frying pan and turn to medium-high heat. When the oil is warm, add the scallops. Shake the pan so the scallops won’t stick to the bottom. After about 2 minutes, flip each scallop. When they are golden brown on each side, they are done.
To serve, dish the lentils on the plate and put the scallops on top. Enjoy!