Scallops are named after the fanned, fluted appearance of their shell.
They are categorised as a bivalve mollusc.
There is hundreds of species found throughout the waters of the Atlantic, Mediterranean and Pacific Oceans.
The closer you live to the ocean, the better your chances of purchasing scallops still alive – but in most cases they are sold already shucked (removed from the shell) and frozen.
The reason for this is that scallops deteriorate quickly when removed from the sea and after they have been shucked.
If not frozen they should be eaten within a day.
Scallops should be light pink in colour, moist, shiny and with a fresh seawater smell.
I have purchase scallops with and without the bright orange roe – this depends on what you prefer.
Some people don’t like the strong taste of the roe, or the reality that it’s the reproductive organ of the scallop. Personally it doesn’t bother me, and the orange row looks spectacular on the plate. In fact I’ve worked in some restaurants where we only served the roe.
Scallops should be cooked quickly (grilled or seared) served medium-rare to remain plump, sweet and succulent.
Seared Scallop Salad
Dress a salad of mixed baby lettuce leaves with vinaigrette made with freshly squeezed lime juice, honey, white wine vinegar, olive oil and a pinch of sea salt. Lightly toss fresh scallops in a little oil and place on a very hot grill plate – cook for about one minute on each side. Arrange scallops on top of salad, and Bob’s your uncle.