Seared Scallops with Chili Pepper Dressing
Rind of 1 lemon taken off in thick stips
1 Tbsp lemon juice
4 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ large red bell pepper (capsicum), seeded and finely diced
About 1 pound (500g) scallops, rinsed and patted dry
2 tiny dried bird’s eye chilies, crushed
Handful of small basil leaves
Set aside rind before halving and squeezing lemon. Put juice in a bowl with 2 tablespoons oil, ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper to taste.
Put bell pepper in a skillet or saucepan with 1-tablespoon oil and cook gently until tender. Let cool, then add to dressing.
Score on side of each scallop (not the coral; remove the coral if you wish) in a criss-cross pattern using the point of a sharp knife. Put scallops in a bowl and drizzle with a 1-tablespoon oil. Add chilies and lemon rind. Gently toss scallops until they are coated with oil.
Cook scallops, scored-side down to begin with, over medium heat on a barbecue hot plate (cast-iron griddle) for a few minutes on each side until nearly cooked through. Cook the lemon rind too, until golden. Transfer scallops to a serving dish as they are done, add the dressing and garnish with basil leaves and cooked lemon rind. Serve immediately.