Serves: Makes 6 servings
- 18 large sea scallops
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
- Freshly ground white pepper
- Red Pepper-Harisa Coulis
- 2 red and 1 yellow or orange bell peppers, roasted, peeled, seeded, and chopped
- 2 tablespoons grated or minced yellow onion
- 2 tablespoons harissa
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 clove garlic, pressed or minced
Procedures:This is an elegant way to start off a meal—fat, succulent scallops grilled and served with a silky sauce embellished with harissa, a North African chile sauce. Look for harissa in specialty food shops, or you can buy it online from Seattle-based Mustapha’s Moroccan (see www.mustaphas.com). If you are unable to find harissa, you may use another chile sauce instead, such as the Asian sambal oelek; you may need to use less, as chile sauces vary greatly in their heat intensity.
I like to serve the scallops and coulis in large scallop shells, the bright red sauce a vivid complement to the pale shell and scallop. I usually serve three scallops per serving as a first course. But if this dish will be part of a larger multi-course menu, one scallop per person will suffice. You could also serve this as part of a buffet, spearing each scallop at the end of a bamboo skewer, the coulis alongside for dipping. If your scallops still have the small tough side muscle attached, cut it away before cooking.
- For the coulis, purée the roasted peppers in a food processor with the onion, harissa, water, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and garlic until smooth, scraping down the side once or twice. Transfer the coulis to a small saucepan, season to taste with salt, and set aside until ready to serve, preferably at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
- Preheat an outdoor grill. When the grill is heated, lightly rub the grill grate with oil. Grill the scallops 30 to 60 seconds per side, until nicely browned on the surface but still rare. Set the scallops on a platter, drizzle the lime juice over, and season lightly with pepper.
- Gently warm the coulis over medium-low heat. Spoon the coulis onto individual plates or large scallop shells. Set each scallop on top of the sauce.