Gremolata is one of those items where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. The Italian condiment is often made with parsley, but a duo of arugula and mint is a bright, fresh-tasting alternative. It’s an absolute star strewn over buttery scallops, but can also liven up halibut, rainbow trout, or wild salmon.
When purchasing scallops from the fishmonger, be sure to buy those that are “dry-packed.” This means they were not soaked in a sodium solution, which not only raises sodium levels but also results in scallops that won’t sear properly in a skillet.
2 cups (500 mL) packed arugula
1/3 cup (80 mL) mint
1/3 cup (80 mL) unsalted roasted almonds
Grated zest of 1 lemon
2 Tbsp (30 mL) red wine vinegar
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
1/4 tsp (1 mL) red chili flakes (optional)
2 Tbsp + 2 tsp (40 mL) extra-virgin olive oil or camelina oil
1 lb (450 g) sea scallops
2 tsp (10 mL) unsalted butter
Place arugula, mint, almonds, lemon zest, vinegar, garlic, salt, and chili flakes (if using) in food processor container and pulse into a chunky mixture. Place in bowl and stir in 2 Tbsp (30 mL) oil. Set aside.
Pat scallops dry with paper towel and season with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tsp (10 mL) oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Place scallops in pan, making sure they are not touching. Allow to cook undisturbed until bottom edges are golden and they release easily, about 2 minutes. Gently flip scallops, add butter to pan, and sear until browned underneath, about 1 1/2 minutes.
Dollop serving platter with spoons of gremolata. Serve scallops on top.