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Chef’s Corner: Dive in for a devine dish

By Staff | May 6, 2013

Maine diver scallops with fettuccine pesto

Diver scallops are hand harvested from the ocean floor by professional licensed scuba divers. They are typically larger than normal sea scallops and are sold either wet or dry. Look for dry, natural scallops because they are easy to sear and grill properly.

Avoid scallops that have not been treated with any chemicals as this causes a soft and mushy texture. Wet scallops tend to be snow white in color, and the dry ones are naturally a pale vanilla color. They are excellent for grilling, blackening, frying or steaming and have a sweet and rich flavor which can also be excellent for sushi.

Scallops should be cooked quickly to maintain their delicate texture. Quickly searing scallops in a bit of butter is perhaps the easiest and most delicious way to cook scallops. In this recipe I choose to grill the dry diver scallops to add that smoky flavor. If diver scallops are unavailable, use large scallops.

Maine diver scallops with fettuccine pesto

Fettuccine alfredo-pesto

1 lb. fettuccine

1 cup sauteed mushrooms

1 cup spinach leaves

2 cups of cream

2 cups packed fresh basil

2 gloves of garlic

1/4 cup pine nuts

1/2 cup evoo

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


Combine basil, garlic and pine nuts in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add 1/2 cup of oil and process till fully incorporated and smooth. Then season with salt and pepper.

Transfer to a bowl and mix in the parmesan cheese, and sit aside. Meanwhile, cook the fettuccine pasta in boiling water according to the package instructions. Drain the pasta and return to pot.

In a sauce pan, heat the cream with one cup of pesto until it starts bubbling, add sauteed mushrooms and spinach. Stir for one minute then add parmesan. Pour over the blanched fettuccine and toss.

Diver Scallops

1 lb. U/10 dry Maine diver scallops

1/2 cup olive oil

1 spring rosemary

1 teaspoon lemon juice

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions :

Preheat the grill to 400 degrees F. Pat the scallops dry with paper towel. In a bowl, mix olive oil, rosemary and lemon juice then marinate the scallops in the mixture for one hour. Turn down the grill to medium, and brush it with oil to avoid sticking.

Remove scallops from marinade and grill two to three minutes on each side. The scallops will be done when they are no longer translucent. Remove the scallops to serving plates, place the fettuccine alfredo pesto in center, drizzle the remaining sauce over. Et voila, enjoy!


Freezing leftover basil-pesto in ice cube trays provides perfect portions for a fast weeknight pasta dish.

Use whatever nuts you have on hand when making pesto, walnuts, almonds.

Skewer scallops before grilling to prevent them from falling off the grill.

Recipe courtesy of Chef Aziz of Traditions on the Beach, 3111 West Gulf Drive in the historic Island Inn. For more information or to make a reservation call 239.472.4559 or visit www.TraditionsOnTheBeach.com.