Scallops are so flavorful you can eat them all by themselves. Since they’re not just the featured item in this recipe, they’re the only item, make sure you choose good ones: Fresh raw scallops should be glossy and firm with a sweet smell. If they have a strong odor of iodine or sulfur, they’re not fresh. Avoid unusually bright white scallops bulging at the sides and melting together, as this may be a sign they’ve been soaked in water to increase their weight or soaked with phosphates to keep them fresh longer.
Since spinach plays a leading role in this recipe, make sure yours stays fresh and germ-free. When shopping, place your spinach in a plastic bag and keep it away from raw meat and poultry, which can contaminate the greens. Wash the spinach under cold running water before using it. If you prefer, you can substitute torn regular spinach for baby spinach.
Calamari (squid) is a solid source of heart-healthy omega-3 fats, with about 600 milligrams per 4 ounces (about half as much as salmon). Squid is also a good choice environmentally—generally abundant and caught in ways that don’t harm the ecosystem. Here it pairs beautifully with scallops to yield a bright, lemony, and slightly spicy seafood salad.
Stir-fries are a tasty and easy way to work more vegetables into your diet, and the veggies in this one—zucchini, jicama, and red bell pepper—provide a crisp and flavorful complement to the sweet, fleshy scallops. (Make sure not to overcook the vegetables; they’ll get soggy.) The stir-frying also gives the scallops a nice, crispy outside.
This recipe calls for bay scallops, which are smaller than regular scallops—only about 1/2 inch in diameter—with a firm texture and very sweet, delicate flavor. They’re most often harvested from protected bays and shallow waters from Cape Cod to Long Island.
When you hear “chowder” you likely think of clams, and they’re indeed a featured part of this recipe—but so are scallops, which swim alongside the clams in an herbed tomato and white wine broth. Using both types of shellfish brings the protein content in this recipe to 21 grams per serving, not shabby for a soup!