Scampi is one of my favorites.
I’m a garlic fiend so this dish is prettttty fragrant. But like always, I feel that up-leveling your sauces is the best way to offset any lack you may feel in your Paleo-friendly meals (i.e. no real pasta shown here).
So this sauce is a one-two punch of garlic and lemon, which IMO is the very best way to enjoy perfectly seared scallops.
To ward off questions about the presence of dairy in this recipe… I always use a raw parmesan from grass-fed cows, which is not pasteurized (obvs) and aged long enough that there is very little lactose present. As a fairly lactose-intolerant person growing up, I’ve found my body does just fine with this now (thanks, GAPS!). Leaving out the parmesan will not change the dish much as all. Additionally, if I could have my way, I’d add a dash of heavy cream at the end. My body doesn’t do well with this at the moment (higher lactose) but if yours does, I definitely recommend it.
More to the point, make Paleo work for you and your body! Grass-fed dairy is a very nutritious addition to a Paleo (AKA Primal) diet if you have no intolerance to it.
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Scallop Scampi with Sweet Potato Noodles
Total cook time: 40 minutes
Yields: 2 servings
8 sea scallops
1/4 c. ghee
8 garlic cloves, sliced
1 tsp. lemon zest
1/2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
1/4 c. fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp. white wine (optional)
1 medium sweet potato, spiralized
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 tbsp. grated raw parmesan (optional)
For those who do dairy: 2 tbsp. pastured heavy cream (optional, again)
Note: this dish moves fast so prep all your ingredients ahead of time.
Heat a wide, heavy-bottomed skillet over high heat. Once hot, add a little glug of a high-heat cooking oil/fat and add the scallops to the pan. I recommend working in batches so you can keep a close eye on them. They need just about 90 seconds per side and should be browned on top and bottom, plus appear slightly opaque along the sides when you remove them from the pan. They’ll finish cooking as they rest. Set them aside on a plate and cover lightly with tinfoil.
Turn the heat to low and add the ghee and garlic to the pan. Stir continuously so the garlic doesn’t burn, but is able to infuse a lot of flavor into the ghee. Cook for about 3 minutes. Stir in the lemon zest and thyme to the pan and turn the heat to medium. Add the lemon juice and white wine and stir until the liquid comes to a simmer.
Add the sweet potato, sea salt, and black pepper. Toss into the sauce to coat the sweet potato well. Cover and cook until the sweet potato noodles are tender but not falling apart, about 6-8 minutes. They’ll have a bit of bite to them.
Remove the pan from the heat and add the parmesan and heavy cream, if using (note: the shots above are shown with parmesan but not heavy cream. If my body could handle lactose well, I would’ve added it!). Serve immediately with the scallops overtop and extra parmesan to garnish, as desired.