PROSCIUTTO-WRAPPED, ROSEMARY-GRILLED SCALLOPS

Serves 6 to 8 as an appetizer; 4 as a main course.

  • 1-1/2 pounds sea scallops
  • 30 fresh rosemary sprigs (each 3 to 4 inches long)
  • 3 ounces prosciutto, sliced paper thin
for the marinade:
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or basil oil
  • 1 lemon, cut in half
  • coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Remove the crescent shaped muscle from the side of the scallops. Strip the bottom 2 inches of leaves off the rosemary sprigs. Cut the prosciutto into strips just large enough to wrap around the scallops (about 3/4 by 3 1/2 inches).

2. Lay a scallop flat on your work surface. Wrap a piece of prosciutto around it and skewer it with a rosemary sprig, as shown above. Prepare the remaining scallops the same way. Arrange the scallops on a plate or in a baking dish. Drizzle them on both sides with olive oil, squeeze lemon juice over them (hold one hand under the lemon, fingers closed, to catch the seeds), and season with salt and pepper. (Go easy on the salt, as the prosciutto is fairly salty.) Let marinate for 15 minutes, while you light the grill.

3. Set up the grill for direct grilling and preheat to high. If you have a fish or vegetable grate, place it on top and preheat as well. (You can also cook the scallops directly on the grill grate.)

4. Brush and oil the grate. Grill the scallops until just cooked, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Serve at once.

Makes about 30 scallops, enough to serve 6 as an appetizer, 4 as a main course.

VARIATIONS:

Shrimp grills up beautifully on rosemary skewers (with or without the prosciutto), as do cubes of steak, fish, chicken, or even veal. You can certainly use other fresh herbs as skewers, especially stalks of lemongrass.

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