Italian Citrus Seared Scallops with Fennel Puree Recipe
When summer begins, I crave seafood, and seared scallops are my quick and easy go to for an impressive dinner, any night of the week. When I looked at this 222 Fifth design, the Kashan, I knew that I wanted to create something bright and fresh, and maybe even a little exotic to play off of the juicy citrus colors of the plate’s color palate.
One important note in this recipe, you will see that I specifically mention dry pack scallops. This is crucial from both a taste and a sear factor. Dry scallops are natural scallops that have not been treated with any preservatives, while wet scallops have been wet packed, or soaked in phospates. Aside from asking a very trusted seafood dealer, you can get hints at the quality by the color. Natural dry packed scallops tend towards a cream or vanilla color, while wet packed scallops appear very white. Keep this in mind whenever preparing seared scallops.
Italian Citrus Seared Scallops with Fennel Puree
- 1 lb dry pack sea scallops
- 1 halved blood orange (moro or tarocco variation, can substitute tangerine or red grapefruit)
- 1 lemon
- 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
- 1 tsp sea salt (or to taste)
- 1 pinch lemon salt (for garnish)
- 1 tsp fresh cracked pepper (or to taste)
- olive oil
- 1 cup fresh fennel, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1/2 cup fingerling potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch pieces (can substitute small yukon gold potatoes)
- 1/4 cup sliced spring onion stalk (can substitute scallion, smaller leek, or shallot)
- 2 1/2 tsp german mustard
- 1/8 cup water (can substitute chicken or vegetable broth, adjust liquid amount as needed)
- 2 pinches roasted chili threads (for garnish)
- 2 pinches fresh fennel fronds (for garnish)
- Moisten skillet with olive oil, dab excess with paper towel. Turn heat to medium-high.
- “Dry” roast fennel, potatoes, and onion in skillet until potatoes and fennel are lightly browned and cooked through. (You may need to reduce your heat for your stovetop) Salt and pepper as needed.
- Once fennel mix is roasted, place in food processer with mustard, 2 tbsp olive oil, and juice of 1/2 lemon. Blend til nearly smooth. Add water, salt and pepper to taste. Continue blending until completely pureed.
- Over medium-high heat, place 1 tbsp olive oil in skillet. When oil rolls smoothly over pan, use tongs to place scallops in clockwise position around the pan. Sprinkle with lemon salt and fresh cracked pepper. Cook for 3 minutes until the scallops have developed a nice carmelized sear, carefully flip scallops using tongs, or thin sturdy spatula if they are sticking to pan. Sprinkle with lemon salt and cracked pepper again and continue cooking on the other side for another 2 minutes.
- In bowl, create Italian Citrus Vinaigrette. Whisk together juice of half a lemon, juice of half a blood orange, 1/2 tsp german mustard, pinch sea salt, pinch cracked pepper, rosemary, and 2 tbsp olive oil.
- On plates spoon fennel puree, sprinkle with a few pieces of fresh fennel frond.
- Pour citrus vinaigrette over scallops to coat, continue cooking for one minute. Using tongs, remove scallops and plate, placing them alongside the puree, about 8 scallops per plate.
- Return vinaigrette to medium-high heat and wisk to deglaze pan and thicken to thin glaze. Remove from heat and using soup spoon, lightly drizzle over scallops.
- Garnish sauteed scallops with a little more fresh fennel and finish with a small amount of roasted chili threads.
gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free