On Rosemary Skewers

Method: Direct grilling
Source: Adapted from How to Grill by Steven Raichlen (Workman, 2001)
Yield: Serves 6 to 8 as an appetizer, 4 as a light main course

1-1/2 pounds diver scallops or large sea scallops
28 to 32 fresh rosemary sprigs (each 3 to 4 inches long, for skewers)
3 ounces pancetta sliced paper-thin
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 lemon, cut in wedges, seeded
Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and freshly ground black pepper

Prepare the scallops. Remove the small crescent-shaped muscle from the side of any scallop that has one. Rinse the scallops under cold running water, then drain and blot them dry with paper towels. Strip the bottom leaves off the rosemary sprigs. Cut the pancetta into strips just large enough to wrap around the scallops, about 3/4 by 3-1/2 inches.

Place a scallop flat on your work surface. Wrap a piece of pancetta around it and skewer it with a rosemary sprig. Wrap the remaining scallops the same way. Place the scallops in a nonreactive baking dish. Arrange the scallops on a plate or in a nonreactive baking dish. Drizzle the oil over both sides of the scallops, squeeze lemon juice over them, and season with salt and pepper (go easy on the salt as the pancetta is fairly salty). Let marinate for 15 minutes while you light the grill.

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

When ready to cook, brush and oil the grill grate. Place the skewered scallops on the hot grate and grill until just cooked, 2 to 3 minutes per side. The scallops are done when they turn white and feel firm (but just barely; they shouldn’t feel hard). Serve at once.

© 2006 Steven Raichlen | site design Benjamin Wilchfort