When it comes to bridging the seasons, food can sometimes be tricky. Pumpkin spice lattes are available now and there was a chill in the air a few days ago, but now it’s in the 80’s…what food should I make? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered.

This is one of those recipes that, by the nature of the ingredients involved, is perfectly seasonal RIGHT NOW. The zucchini and fresh basil as well as the use of the grill make this an ideal late summer meal. For your Labor Day, perhaps? The original recipe called for only scallops but to better feed our family and because the price tag of the amazing diver scallops from our butcher shop was very prohibitive, I ended up making half shrimp and half scallops. This was a great combination, helped ensure that we all had enough to eat, but didn’t totally break the bank (though it certainly is still a splurge.) Thanks to my darling Josie for that smart suggestion!

This is such a lovely late summer meal. It is light and full of fresh, vibrant flavors. The basil vinaigrette in particular is a delicious way to dress the skewers. I served this with thickly sliced heirloom tomatoes seasoned with salt and pepper, and grilled pieces of homemade bread to go along with the goat cheese spread with garlic and fresh herbs. My brother was so happy with the meal he said it was “the best meal I’ve had all year”, which is especially high praise since I went with him to Husk in Charleston a couple of months ago. (I’m going to assume he was excluding Husk from his ranking system.) In any case, this is a great meal for right now give it a shot and let me know what you think!

Ingredients

  • 1½ lbs. large sea scallops, tendons removed
  • 1 lb. large shrimp, peeled with tails intact and deveined
  • ¾ cup fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tbsp. minced fresh chives
  • 1 tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1¾ tsp. sugar, divided
  • ¾ tsp. kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • ½ cup, extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced ¾-inch thick
  • 1 (9 x 13-inch) disposable aluminum pan (if using charcoal)
  • 1 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch

Directions

  • 01

    Line a rimmed baking sheet with a clean kitchen towel or paper towels. Lay the scallops on the towel and place a second clean bowl on top of the scallops. Press gently to blot liquid. Let sit at room temperature for 10 minutes, covered with the towel.

  • 02

    Meanwhile, combine the basil, chives, vinegar, garlic, ¾ tsp. sugar, salt and pepper in the small bowl of a food processor. Pulse until roughly chopped, about 5 pulses. With the processor running, drizzle in 6 tablespoons of the olive oil and process until emulsified, about 3o seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

  • 03

    Reserve 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette and add to a large bowl. Add the zucchini to the bowl and toss with the vinaigrette. Thread onto metal skewers.

  • 04

    With scallops flat on the work surface, thread onto doubled skewers so that the flat sides will touch the grill grate. (I didn’t have enough skewers to double up but this still worked fine.) Thread the shrimp onto skewers as well, separate from the scallops. Return the skewered scallops to the towel-lined sheet, cover and refrigerate while preparing the grill.

  • 05

    For a charcoal grill, poke 12 holes in the bottom of the aluminum pan. Open the bottom vent of the grill completely and place the pan in the center of the grill. Light a large chimney starter mounded with charcoal (7 quarts). When the top coals are partially covered in ash, pour into an even layer in the aluminum pan. Set the grate over the coals with bars parallel to the long side of the pan, cover, and open lid vent completely. Heat the grill until hot, about 5 minutes.

  • 06

    For a gas grill, turn all burners to high, cover, and heat until hot, about 15 minutes. Leave all burners on high.

  • 07

    Whisk the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, the remaining 1 teaspoon of sugar, the flour and cornstarch together in a small bowl. Remove the towels from the scallops. Brush both sides of the scallops with the oil mixture. Season both the scallop and shrimp skewers with salt and pepper.

  • 08

    Clean the cooking grate, then brush the grate with well-oiled paper towels until the grate is black and glossy (5-10 times). Place the scallops, shrimp, and zucchini on the grill (directly over the coals if using charcoal). Cook (covered if using gas), without moving them, until lightly browned on the first side, 2½-4 minutes. Carefully flip the skewers and continue to cook without moving them until the zucchini is tender and lightly browned, the shrimp are pink and opaque, and the scallops sides are firm and centers are opaque, 2-4 minutes more. (The shrimp may finish cooking first so keep an eye on them to avoid overcooking.)

  • 09

    Using tongs, slide the scallops, shrimp and zucchini off of the skewers and onto a serving platter. Serve with the remaining vinaigrette.

Source

  • Robyn MacDonald

    Just finished listening to a podcast about the barbecue scene in Charleston. Would love to read more about your trip/restaurant recommendations!

  • Annie

    I will be posting at some point!