Simply Organic: A Cookbook for Sustainable, Seasonal, and Local Ingredients

Source: By Jesse Ziff Cool Published by Chronicle Books LLC Copyright 2007

Asparagus and Scallops 


This is a perfect dish for springtime, served with fresh rolls and a crisp white wine.

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

2 tablespoons sugar

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 whole canned chipotle chile pepper, pureed or minced

3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro

1 pound sea scallops

3/4 cup yellow cornmeal

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 pound asparagus, trimmed

2 tablespoons unsalted butter 

Lime wedges for garnish

In a small bowl, combine the oil, lime juice, sugar, garlic, chile pepper, and cilantro. Let sit for at least 30 minutes. 

Remove and discard the tough muscle from the scallops. 

In a small bowl, combine the cornmeal, coriander, salt, and black pepper. Toss the scallops in the cornmeal mixture and set aside. 

Pour 1⁄2 cup water into a heavy skillet. Bring to a boil over high heat. Add the asparagus. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 4 minutes, or until tender-crisp. Remove to a platter and keep warm.

Wipe the skillet and add the butter. Place over medium heat to melt the butter. Add the scallops and cook for 2 to 4 minutes, turning once, until lightly browned and opaque.

Divide the asparagus evenly among 4 plates. Top with the scallops. Drizzle with the chipotle dressing, and garnish with lime wedges.

Makes 4 servings

Kitchen Tip 

Often scallops are soaked in sodium tripolyphosphate (STP) to help keep them moist. To avoid these chemical-laden scallops, look for scallops labeled Day Boat, Diver, Dry Pack or Chemical-Free. These scallops are more readily available these days and of course, are a much healthier choice. They may not be perfectly white and uniform in size, but those qualities are not natural to scallops; they are man-induced. As always, opt for the most natural products available. And as always, ask questions. The fishmonger should know exactly where the fish is from and how it has been treated.