Friday, June 24, 2011

Seared Scallops over Summer Vegetable Crudo

According to my parents, I loved scallops before the age of five. I don't remember that. What I do remember is hating scallops up until my early teens, when I finally started to warm to them again. Now I think they are delicious, so long as they are the big kind, not overcooked, and not steamed or something.

I had a delicious scallop dish at Niche, and so I had scallops on my mind when my mostly-vegetarian friend Amanda Perry came to town. Straub's had some lovely looking big scallops, so I picked them up and thought through how to pair them with some of the fresh veggies I got from the market the weekend before. I settled on a sort of raw vegetable salad, centered around summer squash and ripe red tomato. I love the colors, and so I added some crisp green beans as well. To bring all the flavors together, emphasize the sweetness of the veggies, and also bring a little acid into the dish, I added a balsamic reduction. Then I seared the scallops, sliced them horizontally (as Niche did), and placed them on top of the "crudo."

This dish is light and summery--perfect for an appetizer or as a light lunch if served with a soup or some bread. It doesn't take long to prepare and yet looks beautiful when served.

Seared Scallops over Summer Vegetable Crudo
Serves 2

1 ripe tomato
4 large scallops
small handful thin green beans
1 summer squash
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper

Make the balsamic reduction by boiling the balsamic vinegar for about 10 minutes or until it is as reduced as you want it to be. Let it cool.

Using a mandoline or other slicer, very thinly slice the summer squash lengthwise. Place the squash in a strainer with a few big sprinkles of salt. Let it sit for about 15 minutes and then press out some of the water.

Slice the tomato into very thin wedges. Cut the green beans into half inch pieces. Arrange the squash and tomato on two plates, alternating and overlapping them in a line in the middle of each plate. Sprinkle the green beans on the sides of the plate.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over high heat until the oil is very hot. Lower the scallops into the pan with tongs (the oil might splatter). Sear on one side for a few minutes, or until it is browned. Turn over and brown the other side. Remove the scallops from the pan and slice them lengthwise. Arrange them on top of the squash and tomatoes, and drizzle the balsamic reduction on the side before serving.

1 comment:

  1. scallops are my favorite and im loving this combination--looks so fresh and light too!