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Seared Scallops with Spicy Aioli

Seared Scallops with Spicy Aioli

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 6
If diver scallops are available from your fishmonger, use them for this recipe. As the name implies, these scallops are hand picked off the rocks by divers, a more ecologically friendly way of harvesting sea scallops.


  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 cup plus 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, pounded to a paste
  • 3 to 4 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 1 1/4 tsp. toasted ground coriander
  • 3/4 tsp. toasted ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. hot paprika
  • 2 bunches asparagus, tough ends trimmed, stems peeled
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 lb. large diver scallops


In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks. Whisking vigorously, add the 1 cup olive oil drop by drop until the mixture thickens, then drizzle in the oil in a slow, steady stream until emulsified. Whisk in the garlic, 2 tsp. of the lemon juice, salt, coriander, cumin and paprika. If the aioli is too thick, whisk in a few drops of water. Cover the aioli with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to overnight.

In a bowl, toss the asparagus with 1 Tbs. of the olive oil, salt and pepper. Preheat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Working in batches, grill the asparagus, turning occasionally, until tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer the asparagus to a platter and toss with 1 to 2 tsp. lemon juice. Cover with aluminum foil.

Season the scallops lightly with salt and pepper. In a fry pan over medium-high heat, warm the remaining 1 Tbs. oil until just smoking. Add the scallops and cook, turning once, until golden brown and opaque throughout, 3 to 4 minutes per side.

Arrange the scallops on the platter alongside the asparagus. Serve immediately with the aioli. Serves 4 to 6.
Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.