Saffron Scallop Stew
Photo: Carolina Ayala / Contributor
As the once plentiful stocks of cod, urchins and shrimp disappear from our oceans yet the demand for seafood continues to rise, some farmers in Maine are turning to sustainable ways of aquaculture, particularly with bivalves. Bivalves, such as scallops, oysters and mussels are a class of marine and freshwater mollusks with shells composed of two hinged parts. Along with kelp farming, bivalve farming is one of the most environmentally beneficial types of aquacultures and it’s a zero-input food source since they require no arable land, fresh water, or fertilizers to grow protein. In fact, they improve the habitat they are in by filtering the water and increasing biodiversity. There is currently a lot of research happening in this field, in the meanwhile, enjoying sustainable oysters or scallops is a responsible option.
Here is an aromatic pumpkin and scallop stew tinged with saffron and cardamom. The cardamom stews slowly in the sauce and softens towards the end for a punch of flavor with every bite. Coconut oil is an acquired flavor so feel free to substitute with olive oil or ghee. Enjoy it for a first course over the holidays over rice or pasta or as a main course for a weekend meal. The scallops stew in the sauce way at the end, to release the juices into the sauce, be careful not to overcook. The scallops should be buttery soft and jiggly, not overcooked, and hard.