Taking just minutes to sear, scallops are a fast, yet elegant, weeknight meal. In this recipe, we serve the briny, buttery mollusks atop a healthy grain salad made with just a few simple ingredients. For the dressing, marinate chopped garlic in lemon juice and lemon zest to mellow its sharp flavor. Then toss the dressing with cooked farro while it’s still warm so the chewy, nutty grains absorb all of the dressing’s flavors. Stir in fresh, peppery arugula and serve as an easy weeknight meal for four, or as part of a fish course for a fancy dinner party for six.
What to buy: Farro is a whole-grain relative of wheat with a nutty flavor. When cooked, each grain retains a firm, chewy texture. You can find it in the bulk section of many well-stocked grocery stores and in most Italian grocery stores. If you can’t find it, spelt makes a decent substitute.
Look for “dry” scallops that are off-white in color: They aren’t chemically treated, allowing them to caramelize naturally during searing. Avoid “wet” scallops that are plumped, stark white in color, and treated with preservatives like phosphates—they’re bland in flavor and will not brown properly when seared.