Meyer lemons add brightness to linguine with scallops.
When life gives you Meyer lemons, make lots of stuff. A couple of weeks ago, Marion made Cornish Hens with Meyer Lemons and Olives for our Valentine’s Day post here. We were pleased with ourselves for finding beautiful, seasonal Meyer lemons at a bargain price.
Then we got an email from the lovely Christina over at A Thinking Stomach. Seems she has a Meyer lemon tree growing right in her own yard, producing more fruit than she knows what to do with. She offered to send us some. Being no fools, we answered with a grateful, enthusiastic “Yes, please!” Still, we were unprepared for the bounty of fragrant, yellow beauties that arrived on our doorstep days later.
As it happened, I had recently been thinking of making a pasta dish with pine nuts, scallops and lemon. So not only was Christina exceedingly generous, her timing was impeccable. (Watch for future recipes here, as Marion and I continue to take advantage of this swell gift.)
Growing up in the Midwest, it took me a long time to call pasta anything other than spaghetti or expect anything but a red sauce on it. Even though that revelation happened quite a while ago, I am still often freshly taken aback at just how varied pasta dishes can be. And how “sauce” can be as simple as a little olive oil – and maybe, as in this case, some lemon juice – when combined with a handful of well chosen ingredients.
With such dishes, each element stands out as its own distinct flavor, creating a lively complexity that changes from bite to bite – very unlike long cooked red sauces in which flavors melt together. In this case, it was the light, meaty sweetness of the scallops, the nutty crunch of the pine nuts and garlic’s unmistakable pungent hit balanced by the freshness of the parsley… and over it all the bright lemon flavor, delivered as much by the zest as by the juice. Marion said of this dish that it tasted unlike anything else she’d ever eaten (and she meant that in a good way).
Linguine with Bay Scallops and Meyer Lemons
Serves 2 (can be doubled)