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Top recipe melds scallops, gnocchi, romesco sauce

Gina Myers’ recipe won the Every Woman Can cook-off competition earlier this month

Young chef Gina Myers won the Every Woman Can cook-off competition at the Spokane Women’s Show on April 16.

Judges chose Myers’ recipe for Seared Scallops over Spring Pea Gnocchi with Romesco Sauce over five other finalists in the competition. The recipes from each of the finalists and information about Every Woman Can are on the organization’s website at

Every Woman Can is a campaign created by Inland Imaging to help women who are uninsured or underinsured get screening mammograms for breast cancer.

There are links to all of the recipes submitted in the Every Woman Can Get Cookin’ with Patty Seebeck competition on the site. Links directly to the finalists’ recipes can be found in a note on the Every Woman Can page on Facebook.

A cookbook created from the recipes submitted for the competition will be completed in time for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October. All proceeds will benefit the Every Woman Can foundation.

Myers said in her recipe entry she became the chief chef in her house when she was just 10 while her mother was undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer. Her grandmother was also fighting breast cancer at the same time. Myers’ mom is now a six-year survivor, but sadly her grandmother lost her battle.

Myers, who is now 16, plans to attend the Culinary Institute of America in New York next fall.

Here’s Gina Myers’ winning recipe:

Seared Scallops over Spring Pea Gnocchi with Romesco Sauce

From Gina Myers. “The delicate potato dumplings provide a wonderful template to showcase the fresh herbs, peas and homemade ricotta. Sweet sea scallops topped with aromatic romesco sauce finish the dish nicely,” she wrote in her entry.

For the gnocchi:

2 large russet potatoes

1 cup flour

2 eggs

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons minced fresh herbs (parsley, thyme, rosemary…)

1 cup fresh shelled peas

1 shallot, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper

For the sauce:

1 roasted red bell pepper

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1 small slice day-old French bread, cubed

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1/3 cup Italian parsley leaves, chopped

1/2 cup basil leaves, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon water (if needed)

For the ricotta:

3 cups whole milk

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon lemon zest

1/4 teaspoon salt

For the scallops:

12 jumbo sea scallops, rinsed and patted dry (adductor muscle removed)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper

For the gnocchi, bake or boil potatoes until very tender. Strain, peel, and smash or pass through ricer. Make a well with the flour, and gradually incorporate the eggs, potato, salt cheese and herbs. Do not overwork the dough, as it will gradually become heavy. Roll dough into thin logs and cut into 1/2-inch slices. Boil for 2 minutes and toss into sautéed shallots, peas and olive oil. Mix in ricotta and season with salt and pepper.

To make the ricotta, bring the milk, lemon juice, and salt to a gentle simmer. Boil slowly for about 4 minutes until curds form. Strain over cheesecloth and fold in the lemon zest.

Roast red bell pepper until blackened and peel, seed and roughly chop. Combine all the sauce ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.

Score scallops and season with salt and pepper. Sear over medium-high heat in olive oil until golden brown on both sides, about 4 minutes.

Top the gnocchi with scallops and sauce. Serve.

Yield: 4 servings