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Seared Scallops With White Beans and Spinach Recipe

Think of this dish as an easy way to wow at your next dinner party.
Seared Scallops With White Beans and Spinach RecipeMitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Scallops are a scrumptious and low-calorie source of protein that take to whatever sauce they’re made in, deliciously. Yet, you have to look long and hard to find a scallop on a restaurant menu and we can’t quite figure out why. Perhaps it’s because scallops are considered a fancier option than that of shrimp and fish, and unlike a shrimp, scallops don’t take to deep-frying or breading well. But there’s no need to wait for a special occasion to dig into seared scallops. They’re best served with simple and substantial ingredients that bring out their natural, subtle taste. They’re a tremendous source of lean protein, super-easy to cook, and stack up well with bold and subtle flavors alike. Learn to properly sear a scallop (hint: make sure the scallop is very dry and the pan is very hot) and you’ll be won over.

Nutrition: 280 calories, 7 g fat (2.5 g saturated), 360 mg sodium

Serves 4

You’ll Need

2 strips bacon, chopped into small pieces (Feel free to kill the bacon, but for about 18 calories per serving, it adds a ton of flavor to the overall dish.)
1⁄2 red onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 can (14 oz) white beans, rinsed and drained (There are a lot of different types of white beans sold in cans. All will work, but cannellini beans are best.)
4 cups baby spinach
1 lb large sea scallops
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 Tbsp butter
Juice of 1 lemon

How to Make It

  1. Heat a medium saucepan over low heat.
  2. Cook the bacon until it has begun to crisp.
  3. Add the onion and garlic; saute until the onion is soft and translucent, 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Add the beans and spinach and simmer until the beans are hot and the spinach is wilted. Keep warm.
  5. Heat a large cast-iron skillet or saute pan over medium-high heat.
  6. Blot the scallops dry with a paper towel and season with salt and pepper on both sides.
  7. Add the butter and the scallops to the pan and sear the scallops for 2 to 3 minutes per side, until deeply caramelized.
  8. Before serving, add the lemon juice to the beans.
  9. Season with salt and pepper.
  10. Divide the beans among 4 warm bowls or plates and top with scallops.

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