10 Best Side Dish Recipes to Serve With Scallops
Thanks to their distinctive texture and rather unique flavor, scallops are undoubtedly a seafood specialty that’s served across the globe. There are various ways to prepare scallops, from quick pan-sear, grill and stuff method, and frying, to pairing them with steak/bacon, broiling them, and so on. And just how there are countless ways to prepare this dish, there are plenty of options when it comes to the side dishes for scallops as well. In the end, it’s all about your tastes and preferences, but you can be sure that you won’t lack options and ideas.
What You Need to Know about Scallops
Scallops are the edible part of the ocean shell and appear as a small white disk once removed from it. There are many different kinds of scallops but the ones that are mostly used in cuisine include sea and bay scallops. Sea scallops tend to be larger than the bay ones and are typically available all year round, while the bay scallops are in season only between October and March. However, bay scallops also have a sweeter flavor, which makes them a true delicacy.
When cooked properly, scallops have a tender and buttery taste with an abundance of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B, as well as other healthy nutrients.
For your scallop dish to be exceptionally flavorful and tasty, you must choose fresh scallops. They are typically plump and round and have a creamy white color. Of course, if you can’t get your hands on fresh scallops, frozen ones will do, or even the dry-packed ones.
As mentioned, there are many ways to cook and prepare the scallops, but one thing remains the same – you should never overcook them! Whatever method of preparation you decide to go with, you can be certain that the scallops will be ready in just a couple of minutes. Otherwise, they can become too chewy and rubbery. That said, you can use the following dish ideas to figure out the best sides for scallops.
What to Serve with Scallops?
- Spinach and Pomegranate Salad
If you’re looking to recreate a restaurant-worthy meal within your kitchen, you simply can’t go wrong with the spinach and pomegranate salad for your scallop side dish. What’s more, this is an ideal combo when you want to prepare a nice meal to celebrate a special occasion. It would be best to serve this salad alongside seared scallops. And the best thing is that the whole plate is both healthy and flavorful!
- Brussels Sprouts with Lemon Sauce
In case you enjoy the nutty taste of Brussels sprouts, the choice of your side dish for scallops is rather obvious. It’s also worth mentioning that the whole meal won’t take more than 25 minutes of your time to make, yet you won’t have to sacrifice the amazing taste at all. Mix the brussels sprouts with pancetta and combine everything with scallops and lemon sauce dressing. It’s an easy solution for a fancy dinner, especially if you pair everything with a glass of white wine.
- Mango and Avocado Salsa
If you’re looking for the perfect scallop appetizer dish, rest assured that mango and avocado salsa is the answer. It provides a fresh and juicy touch to the already rich flavor of the scallops. For the attractive appetizer, simply serve the salsa mix and scallops on a thin baguette slice.
- Lemon Caper Pasta
You might not be aware of this, but pasta and scallops make for the perfect pairing. Keep in mind though that we’re not talking about a typical pasta recipe with a tomato-based sauce, as you want to avoid tomato dishes when serving scallops – the flavors are not properly balanced. However, just like scallops, pasta can be prepared in numerous ways as well. That said, you honestly can’t go wrong with lemon caper pasta for your scallop side dish. That way, your pasta will be light enough to perfectly complement the rich scallop flavor. Opt for thinner noodles that can absorb the sauce better.
- Brown Butter Polenta
Those of you interested in a delicious and, most importantly, easy way to satisfy a larger group of people with your scallop dish will definitely find everything you need in the brown butter polenta. With the added butter and available seasoning, this relatively simple meal instantly turns into a complex and tasty crowd-pleaser. And it pairs amazingly well with the tender and rich scallops.
- Warm Tuscan Beans
For an extra Mediterranean touch, you can serve your scallops with Tuscan beans. Not only do the beans pair well with the buttery flavor of scallops, but the sauce in general brings out an abundance of taste thanks to the combo of basil, white wine, garlic, and red pepper. If you’re wondering how to prepare the scallops in the most ideal manner for this particular meal, go with the searing method. To hearten the dish even more, you can’t go wrong with adding a slice or two of grilled garlic bread.
- Summer Squash Salad
Another amazing side dish for seared scallops is the squash salad. This pairing is especially popular during the warm summer months as the salad is light and refreshing. But even if that’s the case, you don’t have to worry about your scallop meal turning out too bland or boring – quite the contrary. When you mix the squash and zucchini strips with feta and prosciutto and then dress them in the lemon juice seasoned with mint, oil, and pepper, the combination of flavors will only enhance both the taste of veggies and scallops perfectly.
- Mashed Potatoes with Roasted Shallots
Shallots and scallops are not the same. But shallots go rather well with scallops, so there’s no worry there! Unsurprisingly, mashed potatoes have their place even when it comes to seafood, which is another great choice for adding extra creaminess to the scallops. The recipe is as simple as it sounds – roast the shallots, prepare mashed potatoes, and mix everything with your scallops. Et voila!
- Lemon Asparagus Risotto
Obviously, we can’t talk about side dishes for seafood without mentioning its majesty, rice. What’s more, when you prepare your risotto with lemon and asparagus, you’ll get just enough extra flavor and still allow your scallops to shine through. As a go-to side dish for whitefish in general, risotto with lemon zest tops off lemon-seared scallops perfectly.
A rather interesting side dish that will add heartiness to your scallop meal is the so-called succotash. Typically, this dish is made by combining butter, corn, cherry tomatoes, lima beans, and spices, but you have the freedom to add even more veggies if you so like. A popular recipe involves some bacon bits mixed into the veggies as well. Regardless of what route you decide to go with, scallops and succotash go hand in hand!
Interested in trying the amazingly rich and delicious taste of scallops prepared by professional chefs? Feel free to visit us at Stiltsville Fish Bar, where we serve our customers with seafood specials at the very heart of Miami’s Sunset Harbor. A great atmosphere and even greater food will prove to be a truly unforgettable experience!