A Love Letter to Scallops, the World’s Most Perfect Food

Over the years, I have decided that scallops are a favorite special occasion food that doesn’t, as it turns out, require too much work to make delectable. Before this realization I was kind of lukewarm when it came to these bivalves. The truth is—and I…

Over the years, I have decided that scallops are a favorite special occasion food that doesn’t, as it turns out, require too much work to make delectable. Before this realization I was kind of lukewarm when it came to these bivalves. The truth is—and I say this to everyone, so forgive me if you’ve heard it before—that anything we really don’t like is probably a food scar. Someone prepared the thing poorly, often under- or over cooking it, and it is up to us to come to terms with that reality and charge forward: brave and hopeful that there can be a fantastic experience to be had, just around the corner. This approach has served me well over time and scallops have been firmly in my “passionate about” department ever since.

Scallops swim using an adductor muscle, which clicks their two iconic shells together, propelling them through the water at the ocean floor. It is this meaty muscle that when shucked, appears in dining rooms and frying pans around the world to great delight. Male scallops are only white, but female scallops’ adductor muscles turn a rosy hue when spawning, and are sought after by chefs and savvy home cooks for their sweeter, richer flavor.

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Why I’m Adding Pickled Shiso to—Well, Everything

Living in the pastoral Hudson Valley, I have room to grow things. This year’s garden flourished, and within it, my second season growing red shiso, an herb in the mint family with a floral aroma. In Japanese cooking, red shiso is known best for its ric…

Living in the pastoral Hudson Valley, I have room to grow things. This year’s garden flourished, and within it, my second season growing red shiso, an herb in the mint family with a floral aroma. In Japanese cooking, red shiso is known best for its rich hue that stains umeboshi, or pickled plums.

It self-seeds freely in my garden and so as a result, I have a lot of it. Not one to waste, I have used it in all manner of things over the growing season: leaves added to ceviche, chopped into grain dishes, piled generously onto salads, as an aromatic in making pickles; paired with pork, chicken, ribs, and more. Then arrived the end of warm days.

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