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Seared Scallops with Chimichurri
and Garlicky Polenta

A simple romantic dinner, perfectly cooked scallops bedded in creamy polenta and topped with racy spoonsful of chimichurri. My first blue ribbons at the local county fair came in grade three – not for hearty homemade bread, not for a flaky, tender pie crust, pie, not for a perfect garden tomato, not for a knitting project, not for sewing a simple apron, not for raising a calf or a lamb. No, those first ribbons were for two collections of Gulf-Coast seashells, one of miniature shells with an angel wing an inch long, a coquina the size of an ant, a tiny red crab as small as a child's fingernail. Now both collect dust (ha, irony there, eh?) on a basement shelf: there’s no throwing them away, there’s no living with them either.Even in the 1960s, scallop shells were some rare, especially the flat bottom halves, I think we called them ‘fan shells’? These days, scallops (the seashells) seem somehow old-fashioned and arcane, where scallops (the meaty mollusks) are the modern delight of die…

Chimichurri Recipe

My recipe for chimichurri, the Argentinian parsley sauce that works so well with meat and fish but also livens up other dishes. Later this week, I'll share a simple recipe to use chimichurri for a special (dare I say 'romantic'? Valentine's Day is upon us!) weeknight-easy meal, Seared Scallops with Chimichurri & Garlicky Polenta . Food lovers, say hello to chimichurri [pronounced chim-ee-CHOOR-ee], the parsley and garlic sauce from Argentina. It’s a must for grilling meat, especially if hosting an ‘asado’, a festival of grilled meat. But it’s useful otherwise, too. If your soup is a little bland, top with chimichurri. Use it instead of ketchup or mustard in a sandwich. Top a pile of mashed potatoes with a spoonful. Spoon a little into an omelette. Once you have chimichurri on hand, it’s easy to reach for again and again. (And don’t worry, in the next couple of weeks, I’ll share two favorite recipes that expressly use chimichurri.) HOW TO KEEP PARSLEY FRESH To keep …