Here Is One of My All-Time Favorite Recipes

Plus, three ways to take advantage of late-summer produce

We’re starting the week with these scallops — one of my all-time favorite recipes, with results that are guaranteed to impress. Let me redirect you to our How To Buy Fish as a reminder, which includes the best advice: Know your fishmonger. He or she can tell you when fish came into the shop, where it’s from, and in an ideal world, the fishers. They understand the supply chain. They know the fishing seasons. In short, they know fish. And we're going to pay more for it, as we should.

Scallops are often sold with their tendon, a stark white strip of gristle that attaches the muscle to the shell. If you’re cooking just a few scallops, or making ceviche, or have a little extra time, just strip it off with your fingers. It’s not necessary, but this tendon is pretty chewy.

Sometimes scallops are soaked in phosphates, which cause them to absorb water and lose flavor, or “wet” scallops. If you can’t see them in the case, tell the fishmonger that you want unsoaked (“dry”) scallops.

Past the scallop recipe, we’ve got a couple of seasonal options for you: edamame with fresh tomato, a budget recipe of pickled Chinese vegetables, and curried coconut eggplant with potatoes. Though we’ve made some changes we told you about last week, we’re giving all subscribers access to the eggplant recipe to please the vegetarians among us. Stay safe and enjoy your week. — Mark


Broiled or Grilled Scallops with Basil Stuffing

Makes: 4 servings
Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves

  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled

  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • Salt and pepper

  • 1 1/2 pound large sea scallops

  • Lemon wedges for serving

Instructions

1. Chop the basil and garlic together on a cutting board as fine as you can manage, almost a puree (a mini food processor or mortar and pestle will help you here).

2. Make a deep horizontal slit in the side of each scallop but don’t cut all the way through. Fill each scallop with about 1/2 teaspoon of the basil paste. Pour the remaining oil onto a plate or pan and turn the scallops in it. Let them sit while you turn on the broiler and position the rack about 4 inches below the heat or prepare a charcoal or gas grill for hot direct cooking; make sure the grates are clean.

3. Remove the scallops from the oil and put them under the broiler or on the grill (don’t pour the remaining oil over them, as it will catch fire) and cover. Broil or grill, turning once, until golden all over and the stuffing is warm, 2 to 3 minutes per side, no more. Serve hot or at room temperature with lemon wedges.

—Recipe from How To Cook Everything: Completely Revised Twentieth Anniversary Edition

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Edamame with Fresh Tomatoes and Cilantro

Makes: 4 servings
Time: 25 minutes

I’ve adjusted this recipe so it’s a summer stew, though it becomes a year-round dish if you use 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes instead of fresh. You can also cook other vegetables in the sauce at the same time — try corn kernels, cubed eggplant, squash, whole green beans or okra, or cauliflower or broccoli florets.

Other fresh or frozen shell beans you can use: limas, favas, black-eyed peas.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 small onion or 3 scallions, chopped

  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 2 cups fresh chopped tomatoes

  • 3 cups shelled edamame (fresh or frozen)

  • Salt and pepper

  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro

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Curried Coconut Eggplant with Potatoes

This is a big batch that’s easily halved but you’ll be happy to pull leftovers out of the freezer. Serve over basmati rice for a fantastic vegetarian meal or add animal protein. Other vegetables you can use: green beans, summer squash, winter squash, okra, cauliflower, or mushrooms.

Makes: 6 to 8 servings
Time: About 1 hour without salting

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds eggplant (2 or 3 large)

  • Salt and pepper

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds

  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

  • 2 teaspoons coriander

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger

  • 2 tablespoons sliced garlic

  • 2 pounds fresh tomatoes, cored and chopped, or 1 28-ounce can whole or diced tomatoes, including the juices

  • 1 1/2 pounds potatoes (any kind), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes

  • 1 1/2 cups coconut milk, stock, or water, plus more if needed

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

  • Chopped fresh cilantro for garnish

Instructions

1. Peel the eggplant if the skin is thick or the eggplant is less than perfectly firm. Cut into 1/2-inch cubes and salt if you like and time allows. Rinse and pat dry with towels.

2. Put the oil and mustard seeds in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook until the seeds begin to pop, about 2 minutes. Add the cayenne, turmeric, coriander, cumin, ginger, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the ginger and garlic soften, 3 to 5 minutes.

3. Add the tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, and coconut milk and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Adjust the heat so the curry bubbles gently. Cover and cook, stirring once or twice, until the potatoes are nearly tender, about 30 minutes.

4. Uncover and turn the heat back up to medium; add more coconut milk or water if the mixture is dry. Cook, stirring occasionally, until both the eggplant and potatoes are very tender, about 15 minutes more. Stir in the lime juice, and taste and adjust the seasoning. Garnish with cilantro and serve.

—Recipe from How To Cook Everything: Completely Revised Twentieth Anniversary Edition

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Budget Recipe: Marinated Celery and Carrots, Chinese Style

It’s the time of the year for really beautiful celery, so here’s one option of how to make it shine. This recipe can work as a humble dinner with some brown or jasmine rice dressed with a dash of soy, a trickle of rice vinegar, some toasted sesame seeds, chopped scallion, and perhaps an egg if you’d like.

Makes: 4 appetizer or side-dish servings
Time: 10 minutes, plus time to marinate

Ingredients

  • 4 celery stalks

  • 4 carrots

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 tablespoon sugar

  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce

  • 1 teaspoons vinegar (preferably rice or cider)

  • 1 clove garlic, chopped

  • Pinch cayenne (optional)

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