Sea Scallops as a Valentine? Why Not!

Potato and Olive ScallopsI’m about to say something that, as a cook and a food blogger, I shouldn’t say, but I am who I am and, at my age, changes are small miracles.

So, the ugly truth is… I’m not a fish fan, quite the opposite actually. I haven’t eaten fish during the last two decades and I’m not planning on starting again any time soon.

I know, I know. It’s very healthy. Plus, I have a little one who needs all the nutriens that are in fish and a husband who was born in Genoa which means that sea water runs in his veins as much as blood runs in mine.

Bottom line: cooking fish is both a struggle and a challenge for me but I have a secret weapon… my parents. They are both from the south of Italy and both of them cook fish wonderfully.

As the entire world knows, Valentine’s Day is upon us. Being the least romantic person on the planet, I can honestly say that I have no recollection of me celebrating this day ever and this year is not going to be any different. However, this year I was determined to do a nice thing for the people I love the most and, thus, I asked my mom to share her sea scallop recipe. Et voila’! If I could do it, anyone can do it. 🙂

Potato and Olive ScallopsIngredients:

3/4 of 1 cup, extravirgin olive oil
6 sea scallops
8 grape tomatoes
1/3 cup, capers
1 cup, green pitted olives
1/2 cup, black pitted olives
3 potatoes
1 Tbsp, olive spread
1 Tsp, dry oregano


Put the capers in a small bowl with some water and let them stay for half an hour. Rinse the capers under running water and put them aside.

Cut the tomatoes and the olives in half and put them aside.

In a non-stick medium/large skillet, put the olive oil, the scallops, the tomatoes, the olives, some salt (to taste) and start cooking them on low/medium heat, stirring occasionally. Cut the potatoes into halves or quarters (depending on the size of the potatoes), roughly the same size, and add them to the skillet.

Put the olive spread in a glass, add some hot water and, with the help of a spoon, stir the spread until you obtain a mixture. Pour the olive mixture in the skillet and toss to coat. Finally, add the capers and the oregano and keep cooking, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked.

*  *  *

I wish everyone who celebrates Valentine’s Day to have a wonderful one!  🙂


About Francesca

I am a cook and the founder and art director of Flora's Table, the fine cooking and wine blog. Check us out at :-)
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36 Responses to Sea Scallops as a Valentine? Why Not!

  1. yummy! my husband loves scallops… although b/c it is one of my boys birthday on Valentines Scott gets trumped. I will for sure try your mamas recipe…it looks divine! Pass on the love to Stefano for his skills at making this look so delish! ❤

  2. How clever (not to mention delicious) to pair capers and scallops ….! Please, please (for the sake of your little one and for your other half …!), do please try to cook some more of your parents’ seafood dishes!!!

  3. I have to confess, fish is not big on my list. I will eat it but am SOOOOO picky, no fish bones, can’t be fishy tasting either. I do however like scallops and this dish looks amazing. I know fish is so good for you full of all sorts of omega 3’s and all, but unless it’s prepared well I just refuse to eat it. I still remember every Christmas Eve I would cringe when my Mom would make calamari in a tomato sauce. I love the playful way these scallops are presented, so beautiful and Stefano took a great photo. Happy Valentines Day to you both. PS, I don’t celebrate it either but I do enjoy making appropriate food for the holiday. Your Mama’s recipe is fantastic!

    • Francesca says:

      Thank you, Suzanne! I can tell that you follow the Catholic tradition on Christmas Eve. We do too. My mom has to cook several meatless, no-fishy dishes to make me happy that night. 🙂

  4. Gasp… a food blogger that doesn’t like fish! 😉 Ha- I have plenty of friends that don’t like fish/seafood so I doubt you’re in the minority! I absolutely love scallops and let me say that these look divine! I love the heart shaped candies that you used as decorations to make things look festive 🙂

  5. Love love scallops and yours look delicious!!! Ohhh, I am ( and my husband, too ) craving scallops right now. I also like your idea that cooking scallops with olives, capers and tomatoes! I am sure it has tons of good flavor!

  6. OMG…that recipe sounds delis!!! Especially because it’s 5:25 p.m., I just got home from the gym, and my dinner is still cooking in the oven. I’m hungry!!!!

  7. ChgoJohn says:

    Your Mom’s recipe is a very good one! Its use of capers and olives is very Southern Italian and would go very well with the scallops. I have no aversion to seafood — Yay! — and will be giving this dish a try. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Love scallops, a perfect dish. I shall send a link to my husband! he still has time!

  9. I don’t eat fish, either. But this does look good, and the photos are lovely, Stefano!

  10. I love scallops, so sounds like a lovely valentine to me 🙂

  11. Irene says:

    This looks absolutely delicious. Scallops is one of my favorite seafood. Great way to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Have a lovely one!

  12. I don’t eat a lot of fish, either. Mostly because I don’t really know what to do with it once I get it home from the store. I’m always afraid I’m going to give myself food poisoning by not cooking it right. Fish is one of those foods that taste better when someone else makes it (like sandwiches and salad). Your mom’s scallops look gorgeous . . . beautiful food photography, Stefano! I may just give this a try. Hmmm . . . wine pairing??

    • Stefano says:

      Ha! I’ll let Francesca reply as far as the food is concerned, but thanks for your nice words re the photographs 🙂
      Regarding the wine pairing… be patient please and I will post about it 🙂 I promise I will get to it faster than I did with the Saffron Risotto 😀
      Thank you for taking the time to comment and for signing up: I am very happy that I stumbled upon your excellent blog!

    • Francesca says:

      I’ll tell you what I do when I’m back from the store: I call my parents and I ask them “and now what?” 😉 As I said loud and clear, I’m not a fish fan but let me tell you that cooking it is easier than many other dishes. Plus, practice makes perfect 🙂

  13. Sofia says:

    Oh, it looks so good! 😀

  14. Hi Francesca Sorry that I am a lit little bit late in catching up with your blog. I am a fan of fish although I sometimes worry about the way it is caught. This sounds like a great recipe – I hope it was enjoyed by the family (if not you!) on St Valentine’s Day. 😉

  15. Kiara Style says:

    Oh my God! I just want to go out and buy some scallops and try this…..or how about you come over to California with your Mom next time she is on the continent. I love fish in every form and shape. Brava!

  16. yummy, I love scallop and your looks perfectly cook, like those served in restaurant 🙂

  17. milkandbun says:

    How could I miss such wonderful recipe? shame on me! Thank you, Francesca, for sharing the family recipe and thoughts! 🙂

  18. Sylvie says:

    Des coquilles Saint jacques avec des olives quel beau mariage!

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