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If you’re craving seafood but sick of the same old salmon, try this recipe for crispy chickpeas and scallops with garlic-harissa oil (from Suzy Karadsheh’s new cookbook, The Mediterranean Dish). It’s going to change the way you think about cooking scallops at home.
“I get why people may be skittish about cooking scallops at home,” the Mediterranean Dish blogger writes. “They’re not a small investment, after all, and no one loves a tough, chewy scallop. The good news is that they are easier to cook than most people think. Follow the instructions for pan-searing here and you’ll have perfectly caramelized and meltingly tender scallops (plus crisp-fried chickpeas) in about 20 minutes.”
Fine, Suzy, twist our arm.
“The Mediterranean Dish” Copyright © 2022 by Suzy Karadsheh. Photographs copyright © 2022 by Caitlin Bensel. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Random House.
12 ounces wild-caught sea scallops (thawed, if frozen), side muscles removed
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil
One 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 scallions, trimmed, whites and greens separated and chopped
¾ teaspoon sumac
½ teaspoon ground cumin
2 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced
3 to 4 tablespoons high quality store-bought harissa
1 large lemon, cut in half
1. Using paper towels, pat the scallops dry. Season generously with salt and pepper.
2. In a large cast iron skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Arrange the scallops in the pan in a single layer (do not crowd the pan). The first scallop to go in the pan should sizzle immediately on contact; if that does not happen, wait a few seconds to add the rest.
3. Cook the scallops, using tongs to carefully flip them over only once, until golden brown, about 2 minutes on each side. If the scallop doesn’t release easily from the skillet, give it a few more seconds until it does. Place the scallops on a plate.
4. Add another tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet. Add the chickpeas and the white parts of the scallions. Season with the sumac, cumin and a big pinch of salt and black pepper (about ½ teaspoon each). Cook over medium-high heat, tossing occasionally, until the chickpeas crisp and turn golden brown, about 5 minutes.
5. In a small skillet, heat ¼ cup olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until it barely gains some color but hasn’t browned. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the harissa.
6. Place the scallops back in the large skillet and give them a few seconds to warm up with the chickpeas.
7. Transfer the scallops and chickpeas to a platter, squeeze the lemon all over, then add the scallion greens. Spoon the garlic and harissa oil over top, stir and serve.