Start by assessing the scallops at the fish store. I usually inspect every one just to make sure that theyâ€™re all in perfect shapeâ€”not torn, and fresh with a sweet ocean smell. If youâ€™re not convinced the scallops are at their peak, use shrimp instead. Lay the scallops on a paper towel to drain any excess natural liquid; wet scallops do not cook well. Soak 16 wooden skewers in water for 20 minutes or so. Next remove the side muscle that connects the scallop to its shell. Itâ€™s not hard to miss; just pull it off with your fingers. Line up 3 scallops in a row and thread 2 skewers through the sides, going all the way through. Using 2 skewers gives the delicate scallops support and makes them much easier to turn. Use sharp kitchen shears to trim off the excess wood from the sticks. Put the scallop skewers on a large platter.
Preheat a gas or charcoal grill and get it very hot. Take a few paper towels and fold them several times to make a thick square. Blot a small amount of oil on the paper towel and then carefully and quickly wipe the hot grates of the grill. This will create a nonstick grilling surface.
Cut the heads of endive in half lengthwise. Brush with a little oil; season with salt and pepper. Put the endive halves, cut side down, on the grill. When they start to brown and caramelize slightly, turn them over with tongs. Take them off the grill when they are somewhat softened but still holding together. The endive should take 5 minutes per side. Let the endive cool a bit, and move on to the scallops. They take a few minutes to grill up.
Brush the scallops with oil; season with salt and pepper. Put them on the hot grill for 3 to 4 minutes per side until they have a nice char. Scallops are a little delicateâ€”if one seems to stick donâ€™t try to pull it up, you will tear the damn thing. Give it 30 seconds and then try again. Remove the scallops from the skewers.
To put it all together, split the cooled endive halves lengthwise into wedges and put them in a bowl with the cantaloupe, mint, chile, green onions, and sugar. Squeeze the lemon juice over and then drizzle with a 3-count of olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Toss gently to mix everything together. Add the scallops and carefully toss with the cantaloupe and endive, finishing with several turns of freshly ground black pepper. Serve 4 to 6 scallops per person with a cold glass of sauvignon blanc.
Edited: October 14th, 2009