I watched an episode of the Barefoot Contessa a few days ago in which she prepared Scallops Gratin for her friends. It sounded easy, looked amazing, and I was hooked. I picked up everything I would need to make this dish while in town today. I followed Ina’s recipe fairly close except it calls for a couple of tablespoons of Pernod. I wasn’t buying a whole bottle for that. I left it out. I also wanted mine to serve as an appetizer so I cooked them in shells and not individual gratin dishes. The shells being fairly shallow limited the amount of wine and olive oil present to dip our crusty bread.
I also forgot that on her show she used large scallops and cut them in quarters. I used large ones too, but forgot to cut them. I had to increase the cooking time and even give them a minute under the broiler to get some color on them. This was an interesting dish with strong flavors like the many cloves of garlic and the shallots. They almost gave the dish a hot note because they did not cook completely. I rather liked it, but Michael was not so sure. Remember, he’s a wimp. All in all, we found the dish tasty and we will try it again with a few changes. I actually think searing the scallops briefly in a hot pan with a little olive oil would be magic. I shall try that next time, leaving the large scallops whole. I think the recipe needs a little extra salt and the squeeze of lemon makes all the difference in the world.
This dish would be perfect for a light luncheon or as an appetizer before a gourmet meal. Here is Ina’s recipe. You would probably do well following it than listening to my babbling about the mistakes I made and the ingredient I omitted. If Ina’s friends in the Hampton’s like it, who am I to go making changes? So, the recipe belongs to Ina and the picture to me.
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter (at room temperature)
- 6 large garlic cloves (minced)
- 2 medium shallots (minced)
- 2 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto di Parma (minced)
- 4 tablespoons minced fresh parsley (plus extra for garnish)
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons Pernod
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 6 tablespoons good olive oil
- 1/2 cup panko
- 6 tablespoons dry white wine
- 2 pound fresh bay scallops
- Lemon (for garnish)
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Place 6 (6-inch round) gratin dishes on a sheet pan.
- To make the topping, place the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (you can also use a hand mixer). With the mixer on low speed, add the garlic, shallot, prosciutto, parsley, lemon juice, Pernod, salt, and pepper and mix until combined. With the mixer still on low, add the olive oil slowly as though making mayonnaise, until combined. Fold the panko in with a rubber spatula and set aside.
- Preheat the broiler, if it's separate from your oven.
- Place 1 tablespoon of the wine in the bottom of each gratin dish. With a small sharp knife, remove the white muscle and membrane from the side of each scallop and discard. Pat the scallops dry with paper towels and distribute them among the 3 dishes. Spoon the garlic butter evenly over the top of the scallops. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the topping is golden and sizzling and the scallops are barely done. If you want the top crustier, place the dishes under the broiler for 2 minutes, until browned. Finish with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a sprinkling of chopped parsley and serve immediately with crusty French bread.