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Summer is in its last few weeks and yet summer heat is as intense as ever. The heat, that sunlight with its energy, is filling the corn with sweet flavor. So, quickly, before the corn and summer is gone, give this recipe a test drive. You may well fall in love with it.

This recipe comes from The New Spanish where the focus is on tuning classic Spanish recipe. More accurately, this is a Basque recipe, Zurrukatuna, which means “tasty slurp” and is made with cod. Here, the cod is replaced by scallops and the whole dish benefits from a rich sauce of pepper, parsley, onion, garlic and wine.

You only need a cup of wine for the sauce, so you can sip the rest of the bottle as you assemble this gorgeous dish.

By all means, get fresh corn from your local farmers market.

Scallops with Corn, Tomatoes and Pepper Sauce

Yield: serves 4


For the pepper sauce:

  • 2 cubanelle peppers
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • Salt
  • 1 small bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon plus ½ cup olive oil
  • ½ Spanish onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup dry white wine

For the scallops and corn:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kernels from 2 ears of corn
  • 12 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 large sea scallops
  • 8 fresh basil leaves, torn into roughly 4 pieces each


To make the pepper sauce, preheat the oven to 425°F. Arrange all the peppers on a baking sheet and roast, turning once or twice as needed, until the skins are blistered and deeply charred, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer the peppers to a bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and let steam for 30 minutes.

While the peppers are steaming, bring a small saucepan of water to a boil and add 2 tablespoons salt. Prepare an ice-water bath by filling a large bowl with equal parts ice and water. Holding the stems by the ends, plunge the parsley leaves first into the boiling water (ideally the stems will not be submerged). After 30 seconds, plunge the parsley into the ice bath. Once cool, cut the stems off and squeeze as much water from the parsley leaves as possible. Set aside.

Warm a sauté pan over medium-high for 1 minute and add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add the onion and garlic, reduce the heat to medium, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in 1 teaspoon salt, then add the wine and deglaze the pan, using a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Cook until the wine has reduced by half, about 3 minutes. The onion should have sweated down and softened, but should not yet be caramelized.

Peel the peppers, discarding the stems and seeds. Put the peppers and any juice that remains in the bowl to a blender. Add the blanched parsley, onion, garlic, remaining ½ cup olive oil, and another 1 teaspoon salt. Blend until smooth. Taste to see if more salt is needed. Cover to keep warm and set aside. (You can let the sauce cool and refrigerate, tightly covered, for up to 3 days. Reheat gently to serve.)

Heat a sauté pan over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil to the hot pan and then the corn. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring once or twice. Add the tomatoes, cooking for just 20 seconds to barely warm them, while not allowing them to break down. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice, parsley, and salt and black pepper to taste (start with 1 teaspoon of salt and a couple cracks of pepper). Set aside while you cook the scallops.

Source: The New Spanish by Jonah Miller and Nate Adler [Kyle 2018]