Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Pan Seared Scallops with Roasted Tomatoes, Leeks and Creamy Polenta

Is there anything better than scallops? They're such a perfect food. Sweet and plump and so meaty, scallops probably come to a close three-way tie for my favorite seafood, alongside soft shelled crabs and lobster. So when I was going along the aisles for inspiration in the store for a dinner recipe, I spied the scallops and my first thought was yyyesss...but....

See, Brett was at the time at the Democratic National Convention. So I was cooking dinner for a good friend, and for myself. So while I usually know exactly what Brett will want, when cooking for others I often question myself. But I saw some great, plump, organic scallops and I thought well - hope my friend likes scallops! Turns out, yay he does!

I paired these buttery pan-seared scallops with oven roasted tomatoes, sautéed leeks mixed with spinach and served over a feta infused polenta. The combination was amazing. The scallops were meaty and well seasoned, the tomatoes served as a good charred base, the leeks and spinach added sweetness, and the polenta added a good creamy and filling base. This is a really impressive looking dinner and while it takes about 1.5 hours, it's SO worth it. So enjoy!

1 pint grape tomatoes
3 T olive oil, divided
1 C polenta
3 C water
2 large leeks
3 C spinach
3 T butter
10-12 large scallops
1/4 C feta

Heat the oven to 400°. Put all of the tomatoes into a baking dish. Drizzle 1 T olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Put in the oven and roast for 1 hour.

Boil the water and add the polenta.

Stir occasionally but let cook for 30 minutes.

Slice the leeks after rinsing well.

Heat up the rest of the olive oil in a pan. Add the leeks.

Pat the scallops dry and set aside to dry for about 15 minutes.

Stir until the leeks are transparent. Add the spinach and add more olive oil if necessary.

Watch over and stir until the spinach has wilted.

Heat up butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the scallop once the butter is HOT and cook on each side for 5 minutes.

Set the scallops aside. Add the feta to the warm polenta and remove the tomatoes from the oven.

Put a half cup of polenta at the bottom, add some tomatoes, leeks and spinach mix and scallops on top. Enjoy!


  1. Hi, i just found ur blog through foodgawker. These scallops look really delicious, but i cant find them in my country, maybe i can substitute with another seafood..

  2. I have tried roasting tomatoes at 400 degrees for an hour and they came out charcoal. How come yours don't???

    Sue O.

  3. That looks delicious ! I think were going to try this someday.

  4. Lovely work! Would you be happy to link it in to the current Food on Friday which is all about scallops? This is the link . I do hope to see you there. Cheers