Bacon-Wrapped Scallops with Mascarpone Polenta & Roasted Pepper Salad

A featured Wine Club recipe for Lightpost Winery.
Bacon-Wrapped Scallops with Mascarpone Polenta & Roasted Pepper Salad


This creamy polenta with bacon scallops is a perfect accompaniment to Lightpost Pinot Noir from your recent Pinot Noir subscription box.

Yield: 2
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 20 Minutes


• 6 sea scallops
• 6 bacon strips
• 1 clove garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
• 3 tablespoons olive oil
• 2 red bell peppers, roasted, peeled, seeded and cut into thick strips
• 2½ cups chicken stock
• ½ teaspoon salt
• ½ teaspoon piment d’Espelette or paprika
• ¾ cup instant polenta
• 3 tablespoons mascarpone
• 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
• ½ cup dry white wine
• 4 large basil leaves, torn
• Salt to taste


Wrap a strip of bacon around each scallop. Slide rosemary twigs or bamboo skewers into the scallops to secure the bacon and to make the scallops easier to turn when sautéing. Refrigerate until ready to cook.

Toast the garlic in the olive oil until light golden-brown, swirling the pan constantly. Add the peppers and season with salt to taste. Cook just long enough to heat the peppers through, then tip them onto a plate and set aside.

Bring the chicken stock to a boil in a medium-sized saucepan. Season with salt and piment d’Espelette. Whisk in the polenta and cook for 10 minutes, whisking constantly. Remove from heat and fold in the mascarpone. Adjust the seasoning. Set aside, covered, until ready to serve. If the polenta cools, it will stiffen up. If this happens, reheat the polenta over low heat as you vigorously whisk in a little more stock to restore the creamy texture.

Heat the vegetable oil in a large nonstick sauté pan until smoking. Season the scallops (leave them on the skewers) with salt and pepper. Sear the scallops, and then reduce the heat to medium-high once they’ve begun to color around the edges. Shake the pan gently so the oil gets under the scallops; this helps them sear and color evenly. Flip after 3 minutes and cook for 3 more minutes. Remove the scallops from the pan and keep in a warm place loosely tented with aluminum foil.

Pour the wine into the pan and simmer for 1 minute, scraping any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the peppers, and cook until the wine has fully reduced. Remove from heat and toss in the basil.

Spoon a pool of polenta onto heated plates. Lay a skewer of scallops over the polenta and then pull out the skewer. Serve the warm pepper salad on the side.

Recipe courtesy of Charlie Palmer, chef and owner of Dry Creek Kitchen