Scallops are bivalve mollusks with scallop-edged, fan-shaped shells. The shells are further characterized by radiating ribs or grooves and concentric growth rings. The eye, or adductor muscle is the part of the scallop we eat here in the U.S. In Europe, the entire scallop is eaten. Scallops are primarily harvested by dredging and are shucked soon after capture. They cannot hold their shells closed; therefore, once they are out of the water, they lose moisture quickly and die. Consequently, they're shucked on board the ships, placed in containers, and refrigerated.
There are few rules to follow when preparing scallops and the biggest one is: Do not overcook them! Scallops can toughen easily. As soon as they lose their translucence and turn opaque, they are done. Scallops may be broiled, kabobed, stir-fried, baked, sautéed, or microwaved.
Scallops are actually an excellent source of vitamin B12, a very important nutrient for cardiovascular health. A four ounce serving of scallops contains 83.3% of the daily value for vitamin B12. In addition to their B12, scallops are a good source of four other nutrients with significant benefits for the cardiovascular system: vitamin B6, vitamin E, the omega-3 fatty acids, and magnesium.
With such a great nutritional profile, scallops can be a regular part of a healthy diet. What's more, they freeze well and that means that there is a good selection of them available year round. Enjoy a healthy, tasty and incredibly quick meal featuring scallops tonight!
- 1 T. olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 10 oz. scallops
- 1 large tomato, diced
- 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
- 1/2 tsp. salt
Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook for one minute. Add the scallops and sauté until golden on the outside. Add the tomatoes and seasoning and cook an additional minute. Serve over hot couscous.
- Yields: 2 servings
- Preparation Time: 10 minutes