Seared Scallops with Cannellini Beans

I am late onto the seared scallop bus.  Not in the sense that I never eat them.  I love ordering them at restaurants when I’m not the one cooking.  But as a dish I serve my family?  Never.  Until this one magical night…

For this recipe, I used a bag of frozen scallops from Trader Joes.  At around $15 per bag, you can’t beat the price.  I’ve paid triple this at a restaurant for 3 skimpy scallops!  I just let them thaw in the fridge all day before using.

When it comes to cutting calories, scallops are a dish you can’t beat.  90 calories per 3 ounce serving.  To compare, most apples contain about 90 calories- that’s nuts!  Not to mention that 3 ounces of this shellfish also contain 17 gm of protein.  I can’t think of many foods that can beat that calorie to protein ratio.  Scallops are also a low fat food (about 0.5 gm per 3 oz serving).  Most importantly, scallops are freaking tasty! 

I can’t believe how easy these little critters are to cook.  Like… almost too easy.  Throw them in a skillet, sear for 2 minutes on each side.  Done and done.  THAT’S IT.  Why have I not been eating these for years?!

I paired them with cannellini beans and green veggies for this dish, but you could do just about anything with the stuff.  Throw them on top of grits, toss them into a stir fry, use for ceviche… the possibilities are endless!  Give them a try.

Seared Scallops with Cannellini Beans

Servings: 4

Ingredients:
•    1 1/2 pounds sea scallops
•    1/4 teaspoon salt
•    1 cup chopped onion
•    1 small bunch asparagus, chopped
•    Pinch of crushed red pepper
•    2 garlic cloves, minced
•    1/4 cup dry white wine
•    1 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
•    1 (19-ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
•    1 (6-ounce) package fresh baby spinach
•    2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

Directions
1.    Spray a large nonstick skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Sprinkle scallops evenly with salt. Add scallops to pan; cook 2 minutes on each side or until done. Remove scallops from pan; keep warm.
2.    Re-spray pan and add onion and asparagus to pan; sauté 2 minutes. Add pepper and garlic; cook 20 seconds, stirring constantly. Stir in wine; cook 1 minute or until most of liquid evaporates. Stir in broth and beans; cook 2 minutes. Add spinach; cook 1 minute or until spinach wilts. Remove from heat; stir in basil.
3.    Enjoy!  I ate this dish once as is and once over grits.  Both ways were fantastic.