Thursday, April 29, 2010

Bay Scallop Gratin With Lemon Balm And Thai Basil

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This was going to be a Barefoot Contessa recipe but by the time I finished improvising and substituting it had nothing resembling the original.  To begin with, the Thai Basil and Lemon Balm are thriving in my garden and so is the parsley.  I couldn't wait to try them on something soon and this just happened to be the perfect candidate.  Do yourself a favor and go out to the nursery and get some.  They are both wonderful in fish and pasta recipes and if you have some, even a small pot in the window sill, you will find yourself improvising like I did tonight.   Had they not been there I would have never discovered this wonderful dish.  Serve with white rice and fresh asparagus.

4 gratin dishes


2 pound fresh bay scallops

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

4 tablespoons good olive oil

6 large garlic cloves, minced

1 shallot finely minced

 3 TB minced Lemon Balm

3 TB minced Thai Basil

4 TB minced fresh parsley, plus extra for garnish

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3/4 cup panko

6 tablespoons dry white wine

2 pound fresh bay scallops

Lemon, for garnish


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Place 4 gratin dishes on a sheet pan.

Pat the scallops dry and place in gratin dishes.  Place the butter in the microwave and melt.  Add the olive oil and the minced garlic and shallots, chopped parsley, thai basil and parsley and mix until well combine.  Add salt and pepper.  Pour half the mixture over the scallops and mix well.  Make sure all the garlic and shallots are added now. Add half the lemon juice.   Fold the panko in the other half of the butter mixture and set aside.

Bake for 6-7 minutes.  Add 1 TB of the wine to each gratin dish and place under the broiler for another couple of minutes.  Add the panko butter mix on top of the scallops and place back in broiler until the topping is golden and sizzling.  Finish with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a sprinkling of chopped parsley.  Wait about 5 minutes before you serve to let everything settle.


  1. I love cooking with fresh herbs! I'm still a novice in the herb garden though. I have regular basil and my parsley is going gangbusters! Now you have me wanting lemon balm. :)

  2. Go get will be delighted you did. Combine it with your basil and add to pasta, veal chicken, you name it. very easy to grow. likes the sun, mine is going gangbusters too! they have it at Home depot and Lowes...go get some!!!

  3. This looks delicious beyond belief! I never have considered doing a gratin with scallops, marvelous idea.


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