In the first class I taught at BSC 15 years ago, I included an hors d’oeuvres that I had just discovered and was quite smitten with. It seemed fancy and impressive but also pretty easy to prepare. If I now had to name my all-time favorite appetizer recipe, this would be it! If you have a rosemary plant, it’s lovely to blanket your serving dish with branches and set the scallops right on them. Besides being aesthetically pleasing, it also has the practical purpose of keeping the scrumptious little bites from sitting in their own juices. Don’t skip the detail of rolling the wrapped scallop in the rosemary-lemon zest mixture after they’re cooked—that’s the very best part! And, be sure to watch your masterpieces carefully in the oven because they burn very easily. I guarantee that these will be the hit of any party!
In this series featuring the appetizers that were part of my first class, I’m leaving out the Chive-Spiked Smoked Salmon on Chips because I’ve already given you that recipe. Just look for it under “Appetizers” on the left-hand side. I’d like to mention though that the salmon mixture is also divine on endive leaves topped with a little crème fraîche. So delicious and addictive!
Pancetta-Wrapped Scallops with Lemon
6 large sea scallops (about ½ pound) membrane removed, scallops quartered
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Four 3-inch long strips of lemon zest
1 teaspoon lemon zest, finely grated for garnish
2 rosemary sprigs
2 teaspoons rosemary, finely chopped for garnish
Freshly ground pepper
12 thins slices of pancetta (about 4 ounces), halved
In a bowl, toss the scallops with the olive oil, lemon zest strips, rosemary springs and pepper and let marinate in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
In another bowl, soak 24 wooden toothpicks in water for two hours.
Preheat the broiler.
Remove the scallops from the marinade and lightly pat them dry. Drain the toothpicks. Wrap each piece of scallop with a slice of pancetta and secure with a toothpick.
Transfer to a broiler pan. Broil the scallops for about 1 minute per side, turning once, until the pancetta sizzles and the scallops are firm but not rubbery.
In a small bowl, combine the grated lemon zest and chopped rosemary.
Dip one end of each wrapped scallop in the lemon-herb mixture, transfer to a platter and serve. Makes 2 dozen