Seared Scallops with Basil, Anchovy and Sweet Corn Pudding


The quality of the seafood is key in this lemony, piquant dish. April Bloomfield recommends seeking out day-boat scallops, caught by fishermen who return from a day at sea with supremely fresh scallops that haven't been treated with any kind of preservative. Instead of being milky white, they're almost coral-colored. More Scallop Recipes

Seared Scallops with Basil, Anchovy and Sweet Corn Pudding
Photo: © Anna Williams
Active Time:
50 mins
Total Time:
1 hr 20 mins


Corn Pudding

  • 1 2/3 cups corn kernels (cut from 4 ears of corn)

  • 2/3 cup whole milk

  • 2/3 cup heavy cream

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • Salt

  • 2 large eggs, separated


  • 3 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 16 sea scallops (about 1 pound)

  • Salt

  • 4 anchovy fillets, minced

  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

  • 2 tablespoons water

  • 1/3 cup chopped basil

  • 2 cups pea shoots (1 ounce)


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°. Butter four 1-cup ramekins. In a medium saucepan, combine the corn, milk and heavy cream and simmer over moderately high heat for 2 minutes. Puree half of the mixture in a blender. Return the puree to the saucepan.

  2. In another medium saucepan, melt the butter. Add the flour and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in the corn mixture and bring to a boil, then simmer, whisking, for 1 minute; season with salt. Remove from the heat and whisk in the egg yolks. Let cool until warm, about 20 minutes.

  3. In a large, stainless steel bowl, using a handheld mixer, beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until firm peaks form. Fold one-third of the beaten whites into the corn mixture, then fold in the remaining whites. Spoon the mixture into the ramekins. Set the ramekins in a small baking dish and carefully add enough water to the dish to reach one-third of the way up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for about 30 minutes, until the puddings are just slightly jiggly in the center.

  4. In a large skillet, heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil until smoking. Season the scallops with salt, add them to the skillet and cook over high heat until browned on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Turn and cook the scallops for 1 minute longer. Remove the skillet from the heat and transfer the scallops to a large plate.

  5. Add the anchovies to the skillet and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until they dissolve, about 2 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice and the water to the skillet and simmer until thickened, scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat. Stir in the basil and any accumulated juices from the scallops. Season with salt. Return the scallops to the skillet and keep warm.

  6. In a bowl, toss the pea shoots with the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice; season with salt. Arrange the scallops on 4 plates and pour the basil-anchovy sauce on top. Mound the pea shoot salad alongside and serve with the corn puddings.

Suggested Pairing

Chardonnays from California's Carneros region are known for their lemon cream and fruit notes, a nice echo for these scallops.

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