Dinner Tonight: Seared Scallops With Indian Spinach

Dinner Tonight

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[Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

If you're having trouble getting your bearings with this one, think of the recipe as part Indian and part classic steakhouse. At the base is a fairly traditional Indian spinach recipe, like one for saag paneer—just, you know, without the paneer. It's full of spices like cumin and turmeric, bulked out with tomatoes, and then finished off with a bit of heavy cream. It's that last ingredient that somehow made me think of creamed spinach, which is a dish forever linked in my brain with the steakhouse.

Of course, the most obvious way to tie the spinach to the steakhouse would have been to go with a big hunk of beef. And though that would have undoubtedly worked, I wanted something to lighten up the plate, and not just steamroll over the proceedings. Enter scallops. Sautéed over high heat until golden brown on both sides, the scallops are buttery but still supple, with a very slight sweetness. As odd as it sounds, the pairing works.