Probably among all bivalve mollusks, it is the scallop that has the most attractive shell. The shell resembles a woman’s fan — ribbed and scalloped around the edges. The meat is creamy white and orange in parts because of the algae the mollusks consume. Sea scallops are larger than bay scallops. The ones I baked for lunch today are sea scallops which I bought frozen with the empty half shell already discarded. It was just really a matter of thawing and seasoning the scallops and baking them.
Because scallops have a natural sweetish flavor, I didn’t want to overpower them with a heavy sauce. I started by sprinkling them with a little salt and pepper. Then I mixed together some olive oil, chopped basil leaves, garlic and onions. I placed a teaspoonful of the mixture on each scallop then baked them in a moderately hot oven for about two minutes — just long enough until they turned opaque. Scallops cook fast and the meat toughens when overcooked. So, two minutes in a preheated oven was just about right.
I served my baked scallops with a chicken, gizzard and upo (bottle gourd) soup which I will post in a bit.