Seared Scallops and Shrimp With Balsamic Strawberries

shrimp and scallops in pan

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Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Marinating the strawberries: 60 mins
Total: 90 mins
Servings: 2 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
541 Calories
22g Fat
46g Carbs
40g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2
Amount per serving
Calories 541
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 22g 29%
Saturated Fat 3g 14%
Cholesterol 142mg 47%
Sodium 1501mg 65%
Total Carbohydrate 46g 17%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Total Sugars 32g
Protein 40g
Vitamin C 25mg 126%
Calcium 107mg 8%
Iron 2mg 12%
Potassium 786mg 17%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This elegant scallop and shrimp dish, drizzled with a sweet strawberry-flavored balsamic glaze, tastes like absolute heaven and is perfect for a romantic dinner for two. It's so much like a fine dining restaurant experience that you'll find yourself wanting to call the waiter over so you can send your compliments to the chef.

Seared scallops are very impressive, yet so easy to cook you won't believe it until you do it yourself. The secret is to use a hot pan and not to move the scallops around.

Searing shrimp is also a very easy way to bring out more of their natural sweetness. Use jumbo shrimp for this dish, as you want nice meaty bites of shrimp to go along with the scallops.

Marinate the strawberries at least one hour ahead, though several hours (up to eight) is better. The slight bitterness of the arugula makes a nice contrast to the sweet flavors of the dish, but baby spinach is a good alternative.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar

  • 3 to 4 large strawberries, stems removed and sliced or quartered

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots

  • 6 cups arugula, or spinach leaves, lightly packed, large stems removed

  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil, or light olive oil, see cook's notes below

  • 4 extra jumbo scallops, U-6 or U-10

  • 6 to 8 uncooked jumbo shrimp, or larger, peeled and deveined

  • Coarse sea salt, or kosher salt, to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. In a bowl, stir together the vinegar and sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Fold in the strawberries, cover, and chill for at least 1 hour. Remove from the fridge when you're ready to start cooking.

  2. Heat the extra-virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté the shallots until softened, then add the leaves and turn until well mixed. Cook just a minute or two until all the leaves have wilted but are still fully green. Remove greens to a strainer and keep warm. (See cook's notes below.)

  3. Dry the scallops and shrimp well and sprinkle with the coarse salt. Heat a skillet or saute pan over medium-high heat until quite hot. Add the grapeseed or light olive oil, let the oil heat a moment, then carefully add the scallops and shrimp (there will be some spattering.)

  4. Let the shrimp sear for about 1 minute per side until just opaque. Remove and keep warm. Don't move the scallops until you can see a brown edge forming around the bottom (about 2 to 2 1/2 minutes.) Carefully lift one scallop—if the surface has a nice caramelized color, turn it over.

  5. Cook for just another minute until the scallops are springy but not quite firm. (See cook's notes below.) Remove the scallops and keep warm.

  6. Wipe out the pan, and then add the strawberries and vinegar. Remove the strawberries after they are heated through (about 30 seconds) and let the balsamic cook down briefly until thickened to a syrupy consistency.

  7. To serve, place the green on a plate, top with the scallops, shrimp, and strawberries, and then drizzle the balsamic reduction over the scallops and shrimp.

Cook's Notes

  • To keep everything warm while you're cooking, put your oven on the lowest setting before you begin. A warm oven is great for heating plates too.

  • You can sear scallops in a 50/50 mixture of oil and clarified butter for extra flavor. Don't use regular butter, though: The milk solids can burn and impart a bitter flavor.

  • The scallops are ready when they're well colored on both sides. There may still be a thin undercooked layer in the middle, but don't worry: The scallops will continue to cook from residual heat after you remove them from the pan and be perfectly tender.