Seared Scallops With White Beans and Spinach Recipe

Think of this dish as an easy way to wow at your next dinner party.

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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