Seared Sea Scallops with Broccoli Rabe and Cannellini Beans

I love seafood, but sometimes, the recipes can be tedious and very time consuming, especiall3192y for the home cook that wants to incorporate more fish dishes in their daily cooking routines that can take less than 20 minutes to prepare.

Scallops make the ideal seafood that is quick and easy to prepare. If you are needing a break from the heavy winter comfort foods, you will find the Italian inspired flavors of this simple dish to be superb.

I usually keep a few cans of cannellini beans on hand in my pantry. Beans can be a great source of fiber in your diet. For the most part,cannellini beans are a variety of white beans popular in Central and Southern Italy, particularly in Tuscany. Other names for the bean include white kidney bean and fazolia bean. They are similar to white navy beans or haricots, as they are known in Britain. These large white beans are often mistaken for great northern beans, as the two are so alike in appearance.

Before cooking, cannellini beans must be thoroughly rinsed. When cooked, the cannellini bean is fluffy and creamy. They are typically known for their smooth texture and nutty flavor. In recipes that call for the beans, substitutions can be made with great northern or white navy beans.

Broccoli rabe is a green cruciferous vegetable. The edible parts are the leaves, buds, and stems. The buds somewhat resemble broccoli, but do not form a large head. Broccoli rabe is mostly associated with Italian and Portuguese cuisines. The flavor of has been described as nutty, bitter, and pungent. In terms of its nutritional values, it is a source of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as potassium, calcium, and iron.

Always use freshest scallops available from your local fishmonger. In terms of cooking these gems of the sea, to get the best sear on your scallops, be sure to have your pan very hot and make sure the scallops are as dry as possible.

Serves 4
1 pound bunch broccoli rabe, tough stems trimmed and discarded
3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, divided
One 15-ounce can of Cannelli beans, rinsed and drained
1 pound of sea scallop patted dry
1/2 fresh lemon

Rinse the broccoli rabe well and leave water clinging to the leaves. Set aside.

Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until it turns golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in crushed red pepper, then immediately stir in broccoli rabe and ¼ teaspoon salt. Cover the pan, lower the heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring frequently, until broccoli rabe is tender, 8 to 10 minutes; add water a tablespoon at a time if the pan becomes dry. Stir in beans and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes more.

Transfer broccoli rabe and beans to a plate and cover to keep warm. Wipe out the skillet, place it over high heat and add remaining 2 teaspoons oil. Season scallops with remaining ¼ teaspoon salt. Cook scallops until just browned, about 2 minutes per side. Squeeze lemon juice over scallops, remove them from the skillet and serve over the broccoli rabe and beans.

Photo Credit: Whole Foods, Inc.