Exclusive: Flay's Scallop Salad

The Early Show's resident chef Bobby Flay's recipe for Grilled Sea Scallops with Roasted Corn, Green Chiles, Coconut and Jalapeno Pesto is actually a very early sneak peek into his upcoming new cookbook, "Boy Gets Grill."

Soon enough, we will have a gazillion new recipes for grilled beef, chicken, pork, fish, seafood, and vegetables. Of course, Flay also has included drinks and dessert.

As for Thursday's summer dish, Flay's recipe calls for sea scallops, which are found in the relatively deep waters that stretch from Newfoundland to North Carolina. Scallops (unlike their cousins, the clam and oyster) cannot survive long outside the ocean, so they're shucked on the boat shortly after harvest. The freshest and most expensive scallops are those known as "last of the catch" or "top of the catch." That means they were the last harvested before the boat came back to shore. Boats with trips lasting less than 24 hours have scallops that are all the last day's catch.

Scallops are priced and sorted according to size. On average, sea scallops are about 1 1/2 inches in diameter - running about 30 scallops to the pound. Don't be confused by the signs on your fish monger's wall...the numbers just tell you how many scallops it takes to weight a full pound. The smaller the numbers the larger the scallop: 10 - 20 (LARGE -- 10 - 20 scallops to a pound); 20 - 30 (MEDIUM); 30 - 40 (SMALL).

These larger scallops are not as tender as the smaller bay scallops but their meat is still tender and soft. You will also find them a bit chewier than bay scallops.

Size is what makes sea scallops great for grilling. They have just enough surface area to allow for a light searing to provide an extra layer of texture to the over-all chewy muscle.

Fresh or thawed scallops should be ivory or cream-colored, even as dark as a light tan; a stark, bleached white can be a sign of heavy phosphate treatment (just know this is not good -- commercial fisheries sometimes add phosphates to improve the appearance and prolong the shelf life to scallops). There should be no "fishy" odor.

The following is his recipe:

Grilled Sea Scallop Salad with Roasted Corn, Green Chiles, Coconut & Jalapeno Pesto
Serves: 4

Jalapeno Pesto
6 jalapenos, grilled, peeled and chopped
1 1/2 cups cilantro leaves
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 teaspoons pine nuts
1/4 cup pure olive oil
Salt and pepper

Combine jalapeno, cilantro, garlic and pine nuts in a food processor and process until smooth. With the motor running, add the oil and process until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper. Scrape the mixture into a bowl and set aside.

Coconut Vinaigrette
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1/4 cup Coco Lopez
1/4 habanero chile, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Combine garlic, ginger, coconut milk, Coco Lopez, habanero and lime juice in a blender and blend until smooth. With the motor running, slowly add the olive oil until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Sea Scallop Salad
*12 U-10 sea scallops
Pure olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
6 ears corn, grilled in husk and kernels removed
2 Anaheim chiles, grilled, peeled and diced
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
Coconut Vinaigrette
Jalapeno Pesto
Micro Greens

  1. Heat grill to high. Brush scallops with oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Grill scallops on both sides for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Place corn, chiles and cilantro in a bowl and stir in 1/2 of the coconut vinaigrette, season with salt and pepper. Divide the corn mixture among 4 bowls and top each with 3 scallops. Place a small dollop of jalapeno pesto on each scallop. Toss the micro greens in a little of the coconut vinaigrette and place in the center of the bowl.

*U-10 means 10 scallops per pound.