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Author Notes: Seared scallops are one of my favorite things to eat. Here, they are served with a couple of unique touches- a white bean puree fortified with enough oil and vinegar to push the boundaries of a vinaigrette and a salad made of fennel, celery leaves, and parsley.
This is a great appetizer for a dinner party but it can be eaten as a main course as well. —Tony S
Serves 4 as a main course, 8 as an appetizer
White Bean Vinaigrette
- 1 15 ounces can of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 clove of garlic, smashed and peeled
- 8 ounces chicken stock
- 1-2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon vinegar based hot sauce, such as tabasco
- Add chicken stock and garlic to saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes to poach garlic.
- Add beans and simmer, just to heat through. Drain beans but reserve cooking liquid.
- Add beans to a blender along with the vinegar, hot sauce, and enough of the reserved cooking liquid to puree. Drizzle in your olive oil. You want the consistency of the puree to be not quite like a sauce but thinner than hummus. Add more reserved cooking liquid as necessary.
- Taste it. You should sense the vinegar. Add move vinegar, if necessary. Season with salt and pepper then set aside.
Fennel/Celery Leaf/Parsley Salad and Scallops
- 1 large bulb of fennel, halved and some fronds picked
- 1 bunch of celery
- 1 tablespoon sambuca or another anise flavored liqueur
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1/4 bunch of flat leaf parsley
- juice of 1/2 a lemon
- 8 U8 to U12 scallops
- salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons grapeseed or canola oil
- Prep your fennel. Shave one half of the bulb very thinly on a mandoline, set aside.
- Cut the other half of the bulb into 1/8 inch thick slices. Toss with 1 Tbs of the olive oil, the sambuca, salt and pepper. Roast in a 300 degree oven for 30 minutes, until caramelized
- Pick all the leaves off of the bunch of celery, use the stalks for another use.
- Pick the leaves off of the 1/4 bunch of parsley. Try to pick smallish tender leaves but if they are large, tear in half.
- Mix together parsley, celery leaves, fennel fronds, and shaved fennel. Refrigerate until ready to eat.
- Heat a heavy bottomed saute pan over high heat until very hot. Add canola or grapeseed oil and immediately add scallops. Sear for 2-3 minutes without touching. Flip scallops and add butter. Baste scallops with butter for another 2-3 minutes until cooked to your liking.
- Dress fennel/celery leaf/parsley salad with lemon juice and remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper
- Warm white bean vinaigrette in microwave. Smear a little of the puree on each plate then top with one scallop if you are doing an appetizer or two scallops for a main course. Garnish plate with a little pile of the salad and scatter the caramelized fennel around.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for The Recipe You're Most Proud Of
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe for Lettuce-Free Salad
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe with Beans