Sally's Recipe Of The Week: Seared Scallops With Parsley Pesto

Seared Scallops With Parsley Pesto

Serves 4

I like frozen scallops, honestly I've never used fresh scallops I'll just leave that to the pros. The key with frozen scallops is let them thaw completely and make sure they are very dry. Another thing about cooking scallops they don't take long. Don't overcook or they become rubbery. I've actually practiced on one before cooking the rest of the batch. Your boiling water and ice bath will be used twice so don't throw it out right away.

Important note about mushrooms. Don't run them under water to clean them. Take a damp paper towel or clean towel and wipe them off.

Here is What You Need:

For the Pesto:

1 cup packed curly parsley leaves

1/4 to 1/2 tsp sugar

1 TBS chopped onion

1/4 cup olive oil

10 chive stalks, chopped

kosher salt

For the Vegetables and Scallops:

About a pound or a pound and a 1/4 of sea scallops

1 bunch thin asparagus, trimmed and sliced on the bias into 2-inch pieces

1 pound button mushrooms - cleaned, stem trimmed and sliced thin

1/2 onion chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup vermouth or dry white wine or vegetable stock

1 lemon, sliced into wedges

3 TBS olive oil - divided

kosher salt and fresh ground pepper

Here is What You Need to Do:

Bring a pot of water to boil then add salt, enough to make it taste like the ocean. Place a small colander in a large bowl. Put ice around the outside of the colander and add water. Place the ice bowl right beside the stove. Add the parsley to the boiling water for 45 seconds then using a slotted spoon or a spider fish the parsley out of the water and immediately put it into the colander inside your ice bath and let it cool completely. Drain the parsley by pulling the colander out of the bowl and keeping the ice water in the bowl. Pace the parsley in a food processor or blender. Put the colander back in the ice water bowl. While your water is still boiling toss the asparagus into the pot until crisp tender. If you have very thin asparagus this will take less than two minutes. You want it crisp tender because it's going to go into a hot pan later and cook some more.

With a spider or a slotted spoon take the asparagus out of the boiling water and put into the ice bath. Let it completely cool, drain and place on a clean towel or paper towel to dry.

While the asparagus is drying let's finish the parsley pesto. Add the sugar, onion and olive oil and blend until smooth. Taste and add a little salt if needed or a pinch more sugar. When you like the taste transfer to a small bowl and add in the chives. Set aside.

Heat 2 TBS olive oil in a large skillet, medium high heat. Season you dry scallops on one side with salt and pepper. Place them in the hot pan season side down. (Try to remember the order you put the scallops in so you can start back at the first one when it comes time to flip them and then remove them.) When you get all the scallops in season the other side with salt and pepper. Cook until they get a nice golden brown, it does not take long small scallops 1 to 2 minutes. Starting with your first scallop flip them over and cook 1 to 2 minutes. If you are using large scallops your cooking time will increase. Remove from pan and set in a warm oven.

Add 1 TBS oil to the pan and turn down the heat a bit. Remember don't season the mushrooms until you've cooked them down. Add in the mushrooms and cook until tender, about 4 minutes. Season with a little salt and pepper. Add in the onion and cook until translucent, just before the onions are done, add in the garlic and stir until fragrant, about a minute. Add the vermouth and scrape the bottom of the pan with a spoon to get all the bits and pieces of flavor and let most of the liquid evaporate. Taste and season if needed. Put the asparagus in to warm it up.

Place the vegetables on a plate then put the scallops on top of the vegetables. Give it all a squeeze of lemon juice and put a dab of pesto on top of each scallop and a few dabs around the plate. Let's Eat!!

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