Garlic chili scallops with balsamic glazed carrots

Sometimes I buy things at the farmer’s market with nothing planned. Typically that means I find these items in the back of my fridge several weeks later and wonder what the crap they used to be, but not this time!

From Saturday’s market I still had scallops and baby carrots (legit baby carrots not the whittled nubbins you get at the grocery store). Let’s get to business.

For the carrots:

1 lb carrots

1/4 C balsamic vinegar

2 Tbs olive oil

Vegetable stock – amount varies make sure to have at least 1/4 C handy

Salt and pepper

For the scallops:

1/2 lb scallops

1 tbs olive oil

1 lime juiced and zested

1 Tbs garlic chili paste

1 pinch red pepper flakes

Salt and pepper

Vegetable broth as needed

First things first, always remove the tops of your carrots when you get them home -ALWAYS. Feed them to your bunny, if you’re lucky enough to have one, compost them, whatever, just don’t leave them attached. I did so and my carrots were still in lovely shape waiting happily in the fridge.

If they are young and fresh give them a good scrub and skip peeling, otherwise peel and get to cutting. You want them in similarly sized pieces so you don’t end up with mushy bits and undercooked parts. I halved some, leaving others whole, but coins and carrot sticks both would be great. Drop all ingredients in to medium/large sauce pan and toss to coat the carrots.

Bring the pot to a boil over medium heat and cover. LEAVE THEM ALONE for about 10 minutes then you can peek. If it’s looking dry and the carrots are undercooked add some vegetable broth, stir, and cover again for a few more minutes.

While the carrots are cooking start a pan on medium high heat with 1 Tbs olive oil. Pat the scallops down with paper towels to remove any excess moisture which should help with spattering and allow for a nice crust to form.

Once the pan is hot, test the pan with a scallop. If it doesn’t hiss it’s not hot enough; if it does place the rest in and season liberally with salt and pepper. Leave them be for a few minutes flipping when they have cooked through about half way, they will go from pinkish to pale white. Since the pan is wicked hot it will spatter, sometimes a lot, a spatter guard is your friend here as it’s much easier to clean than every inch of your stove.

Give the scallops a minute or so on the second side being careful not to overcook. They will continue cooking a bit when you remove them from the pan so a wee bit underdone is fine. Remove the scallops and set aside to rest. Deglaze the pan (sounds fancy right?) with the lime juice scraping up all the brown bits from the bottom. If your lime is not terribly juicy add a little vegetable broth to get things moving. Add the garlic chili paste and stir, reducing slightly, you don’t need much since it’s pretty intense. Pour the sauce over your scallops, add a sprinkle of lime zest and pepper flakes and you are good to go.

The carrots may look a little wonk but they are delicious.


Glazing carrots is stupid simple, instead of balsamic you can try orange juice, water and miso paste (SO good), or sub the olive oil for butter and using water or vegetable stock as the liquid. A little thyme would be delicious with the balsamic as well…hmm should have thought of that sooner.

Scallops are delicious unless you overcook them which is easy to do. If you know and trust your fish monger you’ll be fine slightly  undercooking them. If they’re previously frozen you may not be able to get them to brown at all so good luck with that 🙂

4 responses to “Garlic chili scallops with balsamic glazed carrots

  1. The orange and miso sounds terrific… must try it!

  2. I literally just went “Mmmmm” out loud. lol You might inspire me to actually cook for myself, ha!

    • Do it up! The scallops I get are from the Saturday farmer’s market in my neighborhood. Some weekend you should come out and I’ll show you first hand!!

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