Pan-Seared Scallops with Fresh Corn and Tomatoes

A quick and delicious summer recipe and a great way to use your fresh corn when you’re tired of munching on ears (if that ever happens!).  This is on my last-meal list…the stunning, simple perfection of the delicate scallop, the burst of sweet crunch from the corn, enhanced by the slight acidity of the tomato and the oniony pop of the scallion…heavenly.


Pan-Seared Scallops with Fresh Corn and Tomatoes


Pan-seared sea scallops served with a sauté of fresh corn, local tomatoes and scallions.

Serves: 4


  • 1 1/2 pounds sea scallops
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 scallions – sliced thin
  • 2 cups fresh corn – (cut from about 4 medium ears), or thawed frozen corn
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes – halved
  • 2 tbs fresh basil, minced
  • 1 c orzo or other pasta  (uncooked) – optional but makes it a heartier meal


Cook orzo, reserving a little salted cooking water.

Remove tough muscle from side of each scallop if necessary and halve any large scallops. Pat scallops dry with paper towels and in a bowl toss with salt and pepper. Heat oil over moderately high heat and in a skillet sear scallops, turning occasionally, until golden and cooked through. With slotted spoon transfer scallops to a bowl.

In same skillet heat oil over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking and sauté scallions, stirring occasionally, until they begin to brown, about 1 minute. Add corn and tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until corn begins to soften and brown, about 5 minutes. Return scallops to skillet and heat through, seasoning mixture with salt and pepper and adding fresh basil.

Add to the cooked orzo, adding a little reserved pasta water and/or olive oil to moisten it (and check the seasoning after combining).

Tip: to make this even faster, grill the corn ahead of time any time you’re using the grill – just place shucked ears directly on the grill , turning occasionally, until charred and cooked though, about 10 minutes.  Then you can just toss the cooked corn in the skillet with the scallops, scallions and tomatoes, and cook just long enough to soften the scallions and warm everything through.


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