April 11, 2013 Leave your thoughts
Simple, easy, elegant: what more could you want in a dinner? Scallops are a breeze to make, and even seafood haters will enjoy them when covered in this bright, crunchy topping.
First, make the pistachio crust: combine 3/4 cup raw, shelled pistachios in the food processor with 1 tablespoon of ghee, the zest of 1 large orange, and a good pinch of salt. Process until the ingredients are fully combined and the nuts are coarsely ground, about 1 to 2 minutes.
Heat 1 tablespoon of refined coconut oil in a large oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat. Before placing the scallops in the pan, dab them gently with a paper towel and season with some salt and pepper. When the oil is hot and completely melted, add the scallops to the pan. Do not overcrowd.
After about 2 or 3 minutes, check the scallops. If they’re golden brown on the other side, flip them over. If they’re still white or just a pale brown, allow to cook for an additional 1 to 2 minutes.
Let the scallops sear for another 2 or 3 minutes on the other side, then top each one with about 1/2 tablespoon of the pistachio mixture. It’s OK if a little bit falls into the pan—it’ll get caramelized with the remaining oil oven and make a wonderful accompaniment.
Put pan with the scallops on the top rack of an oven and bake until the pistachios begin to turn golden brown, about 3 to 5 minutes. If you like the tops extra crispy, broil on low for an extra 1 to 2 minutes. Be careful not to overcook the scallops!
While the scallops bake, make the vinaigrette to go on top of them. In a small bowl, whisk together the juice of 1 large orange, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1 1/2 teaspoons of fresh chervil, a good pinch of salt, and a crack of black pepper. Pour a little on top of each scallop while still warm from the oven.
This mollusk is delicious as is, but it’s even better when paired with roasted sweet potatoes and asparagus.
For the sweet potatoes, heat the oven to 400. Simply peel and chop your tubers into 1/2 inch cubes and season well with salt, pepper, and a combination of 1 tablespoon of melted lard (once again, yes, lard) and 1 tablespoon of melted ghee. If you’re feeling fancy and a little spicy, sprinkle in 1/2 teaspoon of Peri-Peri, an African chile blend that you can find at Penzy’s. Feel free to substitute cayenne pepper or chipotle chile pepper instead if you can’t find Peri-Peri.
Place on a greased baking sheet and roast until soft and beginning to brown, about 50 minutes.
To prepare the asparagus, gently bend each stalk so the woody, chewy end naturally snaps off. Toss them with 1 tablespoon of melted lard, 1/2 teaspoon of cumin, 1/2 teaspoon of paprika, 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder, and a good pinch of salt, then roast at 400 degrees until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Drizzle on some lemon juice to taste.
And voila! A beautiful, tasty meal that captures the vibrant flavors of spring.
What is your favorite kind of seafood? Leave me a comment on Facebook and let me know!