Seared Scallops With Watercress and Lemon Relish

(6 servings)

Tis the season to spend many an evening either shopping or noshing on heavy appetizers at holiday parties. How about a quick, light and refreshing meal for a change? This recipe fits the bill perfectly; we found it in "Weir Cooking: Recipes From the Wine Country" by Joanne Weir (Time-Life Books, $27.50).

1 1/2 pounds sea scallops

6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons grated lemon zest

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

2 shallots, minced

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 bunch watercress, stems removed

Lemon wedges

Remove and discard the tendon, the bright white strip of gristle, from the side of each scallop. Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together 4 tablespoons of the oil, the lemon zest and lemon juice, parsley and shallots. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set this lemon relish aside.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the scallops in a single layer, being careful not to overcrowd the pan, cooking in batches, if necessary. Cook the scallops until golden, about 2 minutes. Turn the scallops, season with salt and pepper to taste and cook until the other side is golden and the scallops are slightly firm to the touch, 2 to 3 minutes.

To serve, divide the scallops among 6 serving plates. Spoon the lemon relish over the scallops and garnish with watercress and lemon wedges. Serve immediately.

Per serving: 206 calories, 19 gm protein, 4 gm carbohydrates, 13 gm fat, 36 mg cholesterol, 1 gm saturated fat, 540 mg sodium, trace dietary fiber

These retro Turkey Chop Frills ($4.50 for eight) remind us of the 1950s, when a simple paper decoration could--and often did--elevate mere drumsticks into a festive centerpiece. And they're versatile. They make great leg warmers for the cat. Available at Restoration Hardware stores.

Shakespeare in the Kitchen

Oh sure, he knew how to write plays, mastered tragedy, comedy and history. But do you think Shakespeare was also something of a cook?

In conjunction with "Fooles and Fricassees: Food in Shakespeare's England" at the Folger Shakespeare Library, chef Jeff Tunks of the downtown restaurant DC Coast will present three holiday dishes from the exhibit of food from the Shakespearean era and transform them for this day and age. For a Dec. 11 class, Tunks will make spinach pie, chicken fricassee and the gooseberry foole--all of which would be a tasty treat for any 20th-century holiday feast. Tastings of wine and food, recipe booklets and helpful tips are included. $50 per person. The class begins promptly at 11 a.m. and ends at 1 p.m. DC Coast, 1401 K St. NW; call 202-216-5988.

Coming Sunday

For your Thanksgiving planning, we will also publish a Food section Sunday, Nov. 21. Look for:

Sweet ways to cook sweet potatoes

More side dishes

Solutions for vegetarian Thanksgiving guests

Wine tips

We will not publish on Wednesday, Nov. 24, but will resume with our Wednesday schedule on Dec. 1.

To Do

THURSDAY: Sicilian wine dinner at Barolo Ristorante. $59 excludes tax and tip. 7 p.m. 223 Pennsylvania Ave. SE. Call 202-547-5011.

FRIDAY: A Culinary Conversation--chef Thomas Keller, author of "The French Laundry Cookbook" and Phyllis Richman, The Washington Post restaurant critic, at the Washington Arts Club. Sponsored by the Wine Source and Borders Books & Music. Free. 7 p.m. 2017 I St. NW. Call 202-331-7282 ext. 25.

FRIDAY: Champagne and sparkling wine tasting sponsored by the Sommelier Society of Washington, D.C. $40. 7:30-9:30 p.m. Marriott Crystal Gateway Hotel, 1700 Jefferson Davis Hwy., Arlington. Call 703-685-7970.

SATURDAY: Czechoslovak Christmas bazaar featuring traditional foods at the Bradley Hills Presbyterian Church. Sponsored by the Czechoslovak Society of Arts and Sciences. Free admission. Noon-4 p.m. 6601 Bradley Blvd., Bethesda. Call 703-281-2570.

SATURDAY: Play the Cook--special family tour of the "Fooles and Fricassees: Food in Shakespeare's England" exhibit and cooking demonstration for children from 5 to 8 years old at the Folger Shakespeare Library. $7.50. 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. 201 E. Capitol St. SE. Call 202-544-7077.

SUNDAY: Vegetarian potluck dinner sponsored by the Vegetarian Resource Group. $3 plus one vegan or vegetarian dish. 5:30 p.m. St. John's Church, St. Paul and 27th streets, Baltimore. Call 410-366-VEGE or www.vrg.org.

SUNDAY: Great Chefs: The Ultimate Fashion Plate--fashion show featuring local chefs and buffet dinner at Bloomingdale's, Tysons Corner. Benefits local children's charities. $75 includes tax and tip. 7-10 p.m. Tysons Corner Center. Call 703-556-4519.

SUNDAY: Cooking demonstration and discussion with "The New Jewish Holiday Cookbook" author Gloria Kaufer Greene at Barnes & Noble, Montrose Crossing Shopping Center. Free. 4 p.m. Rockville Pike and Randolph Road, Rockville. Call 301-881-0237.

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Don the gas masks and the heavy-duty gloves, it's Whirlpool National Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day! Before you cram your fridge full of yummy holiday preparations and, soon thereafter, leftovers, check out this site for plenty of valuable advice. There's a pithy listing that includes something for everyone, including "Fruits and Vegetables Aren't Supposed to Be That Color," "Third-Degree Freezer Burns," "Storing Meat 101" and "Does This Ice Taste Funny to You?"