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Grilled Scallops with Zucchini & Grilled Tomato Vinaigrette

Geoffrey Zakarian makes buttery scallops with baby vegetables.
Nathan Congleton / TODAY

Chef notes

Dress up simply grilled scallops, zucchini, yellow summer squash and eggplant in a lightly smoky vinaigrette made with charred tomatoes.


Grilled Tomato Vinaigrette (yields 1 cup)
  • 1 heirloom tomato, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
  • 1 tablespoon basil seeds (bloomed in 1 cup of water and strained)
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh cracked pepper
Grilled Scallops with Zucchini, Summer Squash and Eggplant
  • 1 baby green zucchini, split in half lengthwise
  • 2 baby Japanese eggplant
  • 16 slices yellow summer squash or Goldbar zucchini rounds, ¼-inch thick
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons Chardonnay vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons basil, chopped
  • 4 small multicolored (toybox) tomatoes, split in half
  • 8 diver scallops, cleaned and rinsed, dried on paper towels
  • 1/2 cup grilled tomato vinaigrette (see recipe below)
  • 1 cup watercress leaves, for garnish
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh cracked pepper


For the grilled tomato vinaigrette:


Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium high heat. Season the tomato slices with salt and pepper.


Grill the tomatoes until charred and tender. Pass the tomato through a food mill or pulse a few times in a blender. Cool the mixture and reserve ½ cup for the vinaigrette.


In a small mixing bowl, whisk to combine the tomato, bloomed basil seeds, mustard, and vinegar. Slowly emulsify the olive oil into the mixture to form an emulsion. Season with salt and pepper and store at room temperature until ready for use.

For the grilled scallops with summer squash and eggplant:


Bring a medium sized pot of salted water to a boil. Prepare an ice bath: a large bowl of water with ice.


Blanch the green zucchini and Japanese eggplant for 30 seconds in the boiling water, then add the yellow squash and cook for 30 more seconds. Transfer the vegetables to the ice bath to stop the cooking. Drain the vegetables thoroughly and dry on paper towels.


In a small bowl, toss the vegetables in the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Add the vinegar and basil. Preheat your grill to medium high heat.


Grill the marinated vegetables until heavily caramelized. Season with salt and pepper and toss with the tomatoes. Hold the vegetables aside while you cook the scallops.


Season the scallops on all sides with salt. Grill the scallops on both sides for around 4 minutes per side, depending on how thick they are. The scallops should be firm but have a little bit of give to them when finished.


Arrange the scallops divided between two plates, followed by the vegetables. Spoon the vinaigrette onto the plate and garnish with the watercress leaves.