Wild scallops are marvelous and a favorite dish of mine to prepare. Their mild flavor opens many avenues of creativity, allowing one to choose the right components to compliment the dish. It’s common belief that they are difficult to cook and then on top of that, if they’re not prepared properly, tend to be flavorless. My belief is that it is really quite simple and below I’ve provided exactly what you’ll need to succeed if it’s your first time around.
Here I’ve chosen sweet local carrots, fresh figs and homemade creme’ fraiche to compliment wild scallops perfectly browned in butter. This is also an impressive recipe that is easily prepared for a get together with friends as the carrot puree and figs can be pre-roasted and pureed the day before so all you have to do is pull them out of the fridge if need be. The best part is that it only takes approximately 3 minutes to brown the scallops, which is something you’ll do right as your guests are ready to take their seats for the main course.
The carrot puree and roasted figs can be served warm, but they are excellent at room temperature as well. The differing levels of temperature accompanied by the sweet pairing of the puree and figs is delightful. Serve this with a glass of Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc and toasted bread points and you are set to go! This would be lovely with an arugula salad as a side tossed in a drizzle of olive oil, fresh ground black pepper, and squeeze of fresh lemon.
Enjoy! Let me know how you like it—I think you’ll find it surprisingly easy to prepare.
Wild Scallops in Browned Butter With Roasted Figs & Carrot Creme
12 Wild Scallops, medium-large in size
4 Fresh Figs
4-8 Fresh Bread, sliced (if serving as a side)
4 T. Butter
6 Carrots small-medium in size, preferably with green tops
3 T. Creme’ Fraiche
1 T. Olive Oil
1/8 t. Salt
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Rinse and lightly scrub the carrots. Place on a pan and lightly drizzle olive oil, sprinkling with a dash of salt. Roast in oven for 20 minutes or until skin begins to wrinkle. Remove from oven and set aside.
Rinse and slice figs in half, placing them on the same pan. If you plan to serve toast points as a side, place slices on the same pan with the figs. Lightly drizzle with olive oil. Roast in oven for approximately 10 minutes, or until figs have warmed through and bread is lightly browned.
While figs and bread are roasting, cut roasted carrots in thirds and place in a blender or food processor. Add 3 remaining ingredients and puree until smooth. You are welcome to adjust to your taste preference as you like.
As your final step, place cast iron skillet onto stove, turning the burner to medium high. Add butter and allow to melt and sizzle just until lightly browned. While butter is browning, pat scallops dry with a paper towel, removing all excess moisture. Once butter is first starting to brown, add scallops, making sure there is nearly an inch in between each. Brown undisturbed for 2 full minutes. Flip and finish cooking for half the time, approximately one minute.
*Scallops should be tender to the touch when tapped with a fork; slightly under done in the middle. If the scallop is firm to the touch, you have over cooked it.
Immediately place a spoonful of carrot puree on plate and set freshly browned scallop on top. Repeat with each scallop, 3 to each plate. Place 2 slices of roasted fig alongside 1-2 toast points. Drizzle with walnut oil and serve immediately.[/recipe-box]