After a tentative start, Spring has made a grand entrance here in the mid-Atlantic, and indeed it is grand. With the days longer, the sun higher in the sky, and the flowers blanketing our lawns in color, it is pretty much impossible not to wake with a smile on your face. Even the birds seem happier, making their noisy selves known just as the sun is winking over the horizon. In fact, this is a time to feel downright joyful. Not just happy, mind you, joyful.
Not long ago, as I was trawling the Internet, I came across this quote:
Do not postpone joy.
It got me thinking: How many times in my adult life can I honestly claim to have felt pure, raw, unadulterated joy? My wedding, the births of my children, and witnessing their accomplishments large and small over the years — these are obvious. But in the daily routine of life, when we are distracted by doing, thinking, trying, worrying, hoping, fearing, and wanting, it’s easy to forget to take time out and concentrate on just being. Speaking only for myself, I know that when I am present, I am reminded of all that I am grateful for. And yes, with that, sometimes even joyful.
So let’s soak up the beauty and promise of Spring’s renewal and remember that joy is always here for the taking.
Lemony Seared Scallops:
This basic recipe for sautéed scallops is so simple.The freshness of the lemon reminds me of Summer, which for me trumps even Spring.To further enhance the richness of the scallops, feel free to add 2 tablespoons of butter when sautéing; I was after a healthier version and therefore used just the olive oil.
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
1-1/2 t. minced garlic
1-1/2 to 2 lbs. sea scallops
Juice of 1 lemon
Rinse scallops and dry thoroughly with a paper towel.
Heat a large skillet (I prefer cast iron, as it helps to create a beautiful crust on the scallops) over medium-high heat for several minutes, and then add olive oil, butter (if using), and garlic. After just a few seconds add the scallops; you do not want the garlic to start burning in this hot pan. Add just a few scallops at a time to avoid crowding the pan. Season with salt and pepper while they cook. Once the scallops begin to brown and get nice and caramelized (about 3 minutes), turn them over and continue cooking on the other side.As the scallops finish, transfer them to a plate and continue cooking the remaining scallops in the same manner.
Once all of the scallops are cooked, add the lemon juice to the pan and stir, scraping up all of the brown bits. This will create your lemon pan sauce. Once sauce is reduced to a glaze, return the scallops to the pan and briefly stir to coat them with the sauce and heat through.