In cooking fast and cooking for one, you really can't beat seafood. We used to avoid scallops and shrimp because of their cost, then realized that when cooking for just one, these are often the easiest and most economical ways to make a quick and delicious meal on a weeknight.
This particular dish comes from an impulse buy of tiny sea scallops and the need to use a leftover bulb of fennel and tomato. The scallops are cooked very fast with smoked paprika - a deep, slightly spicy rich taste that perfectly complements their sweetness. The fresh fennel and tomato are simmered in white wine for an easy, deliciously complex yet comforting summer dish.
Smoky Scallops with Fennel and Tomato
1 pound tiny sea scallops 1 tablespoon smoked paprika 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon olive oil 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced 1 small fennel bulb, thinly sliced 1 tomato, diced 1 cup white wine Salt and pepper 1 lime, sliced into wedges, for garnish
Rinse the scallops and pat them dry. Toss with the paprika and salt. Heat a large heavy skillet over medium high heat and sear the scallops for about a minute on each side - do not overcook. Remove and put on a plate and cover to keep warm.
Heat the olive oil in the skillet and add the garlic and fennel. Saute slowly over medium heat until slightly softened - about 5-10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and wine and simmer until slightly reduced - about 10 minutes. Add the scallops back in for about 2 minutes - just long enough to warm through. Taste and season as necessary with salt and pepper. Serve immediately with pasta or rice.