Although my scallops didn't come out spectacularly, I still strongly recommend this recipe. The scallops are just a topping for the beans, which came out AMAZING. I'll be eating these for the next week. And I've certainly made delicious scallops before, so I have no doubt that if it had been different scallops I would have been extremely happy with this recipe.
So don't let my horror story scare you off--although DO let my story make you become friendly with the person who sells you your fish, as they are the best source of information for how old the fish is, recipes, etc. I have a fishmonger at a store near me who I'm on a first name basis with (and, who continually tells me if he was 30 years younger we'd be married by now), who has never steered me wrong. In fact, I've gone in to the store to get one fish and he'll give me a look (if other customers are at the counter) and suggest a different, but similar, fish. With no questions asked, I ALWAYS change my fish and have never once been unhappy with the product I've gotten. Moral of the story--unlike with meat (which it's still good to have a relationship with your butcher) fish is SO temperamental and goes bad SO quickly that a good relationship with the person who sells it to you is imperative.
Ok, lecture done...on to the good stuff!
Seared Scallops with Greek Gigante Beans
Downloadable PDF available here.
4 sea scallops (per person)
1 lb. dried gigante beans (if these are unavailable, use Great Northern Beans or cannellini beans)
¼ cup olive oil
8 cups chicken broth
2 medium onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
28 oz can whole plums in juice, tomatoes chopped and juice reserved
¼ cup red wine vinegar
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tsp crushed red pepper
1. Place beans in large bowl. Pour enough water over to cover beans by 3 inches; let soak overnight. This will rehydrate the beans--it is MUCH cheaper to get dried beans and rehydrate rather than get cans! And perfectly easy to do. The next day, drain beans and set aside.
2. Heat olive oil in heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add chopped onions and garlic and sauté until onions have caramelized a little and are golden brown, about 7 minutes. Add beans, broth, tomatoes & their juice, vinegar, oregano, and crushed red pepper to pot; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until beans are tender, adding more broth by cupfuls to keep beans submerged and stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 hours, depending on freshness of beans. At the end, uncover and cook beans until tomato mixture thickens and liquid is slightly reduced, about 15 minutes. Season beans to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
MAKE AHEAD TIP: I did the beans the day before I cooked the scallops. It takes a while to cook, and I'm a hungry girl, so as my meal for that night was cooking, I worked on the beans. Then I ate and let the beans simmer. After they are cooked, let them cool slightly then chill in your fridge until cold, then cover and leave in fridge. I rewarmed the beans in a small pan on the stove over medium heat for about 4 minutes.
3. Rinse and pat scallops dry. Remove foot, if necessary. Score, salt and pepper each side.
4. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a pan on the stove top over high heat. Once oil is hot, place scallops in pan and cook about 3 minutes, until that side is caramelized. Flip the scallops and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Remove from heat and serve over warmed gigante beans.
Enjoy! AND DONT DO THIS WITH DIPPED SCALLOPS. Ick. But the beans made a perfectly good meal in and of themselves, so feel free to just eat those!