THE MEAT: For this dish, we used two meats. The first is pancetta, basically an Italian version of bacon. Our favorite pancetta in the world comes from La Quercia, one the most respected American charcuterie makers in the country. If you don’t have access to La Quercia, there should be plenty of other solid options at your grocery or butcher shop. And, of course, you can always substitute good, old American bacon. That beautiful pancetta was wrapped around scallops, and the fresh scallops we got were U-12, meaning that there are fewer than 12 in a pound. In this system, the lower the number, the larger the scallop will be. We like U-12 but also occasionally splurge for the U-10 size and just let them grill for an extra minute or two. That just makes for crispier pancetta, which isn’t a bad thing.
THE METHOD: These are pretty easy to put together and the name says it all: Wrap the scallops with the pancetta. And using a rosemary sprig as the skewer has numerous advantages. The sprig adds rosemary flavor from the inside out as the scallops grill, and as the old adage goes, people eat with their eyes first. The rosemary skewer gives the scallops a pop of green and a sophisticated look—people will think you’re a real chef!
THE MEAL: These make a pretty flashy appetizer for a party, a great light entrée along with a salad, or they can be a rockstar addition to a surf-and-turf dinner.
12 sturdy sprigs of rosemary
12 thin slices of pancetta
3 tablespoons olive oil
Pull the lower half of rosemary leaves off of each sprig. Set the sprig aside and mince the rosemary you’ve removed.
Cover the scallops with the olive oil and season generously with salt, pepper and the minced rosemary. Wrap each scallop with a slice of pancetta, and use a rosemary sprig to hold the pancetta in place.
Set up your grill for direct grilling. Place a long slender piece of tin foil on the grill. Place the scallops directly over the fire, making sure that the rosemary sprig is protected from the fire by the aluminum strip.
Grill the scallops for 3 minutes on each side. Serve immediately.