You’ve heard of steak tartare – finely chopped raw meat, usually served with a raw egg yolk on top – but have you ever tried scallops served the same way? While Paleo obviously doesn’t require you to eat your meat uncooked, it’s a very interesting experience, and the health risk is a lot lower than you might think. Provided that you get very fresh scallops from a reputable fishmonger (don’t try this with bargain-basement meat you scooped out of a corner of the freezer in Wal-Mart!), the danger of bacterial or parasitic contamination is actually very low. Right now is actually a good time to try this recipe, since the harvest season for scallops is late fall through early spring, so you have a better chance of getting them fresh.
So how does it all taste? The raw meat is a lot tenderer than the cooked scallops you’re probably used to eating, and the flavor is very mild: it’s not at all a strong “fishy” taste. As well as a hint of sweetness from the strawberry garnish, there’s a pleasant zing from the lemon juice and raw onions, and the basil and olive oil tie everything together with a Mediterranean flavor – it’s an appetizer you could imagine eating in some sunny little restaurant in Greece or southern Italy.
As well as being a sophisticated and decadent treat, this recipe is also very nutritious: scallops are high in important vitamins (like B12 and choline) and minerals (especially selenium, phosphorus, zinc, iron, copper, and magnesium – and they even have a little calcium). The strawberries and citrus add vitamin C, which helps your body absorb the iron in the scallops, not to mention a beautiful touch of color. In fact, with the green garnish, red strawberries, and white scallops, this is another one to put on the list of Paleo recipes that look as good as they taste. Will you like it? It’s hard to say – but try it, and you might be surprised!
Scallop Tartare with Strawberries Recipe
- 6 scallops, thinly diced;
- 2-3 strawberries, thinly chopped;
- 1 tbsp. green onions, minced;
- The juice from half a lemon;
- 1 tbsp. olive oil;
- ½ tbsp. fresh basil, minced;
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste;
- In a bowl, combine together the scallops, the strawberries, the green onions and the basil.
- Pour in the lemon juice and the olive oil, give everything a good stir.
- Season to taste with sea salt and black pepper and stir again.
- Serve cold.