Pan Seared Diver Scallops, Fried Leeks, with Sauce Verte, & Pistachio Gremolata
Prep Time: 35 mins Cook Time: 5 mins Serves: 2
Scallops are a luxurious seafood that when cooked properly yield a soft texture and subtle, sweet flavor. Searing scallops without overcooking can take a bit of practice, but once you have mastered the technique they will be one of you your favorite items to cook for their versatility. Like all proteins, getting a good sear on scallops requires a few steps. Scallops should be rinsed, patted dry, and allowed to come up to room temperature before searing in a very hot pan. The time in the pan won’t be much, merely a minute or so each side. You will be able to see them caramelize at the edges, indicating it is time to flip. Due to their short cooking time, it is possible for you to complete all other items in the recipe and get them on the plate before turning your complete attention to cooking the scallops.
- 1 lb fresh diver scallops
- 3 tbsp butter
- 1 cup leeks; thinly sliced into 2” segments
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1 ½ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley; divided
- ½ cup chopped chervil leaves
- ½ cup chopped chives
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped; divided
- 1 shallot, peeled and chopped
- ½ teaspoon chopped anchovy
- ¼ cup capers
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup + 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup finely chopped toasted pistachios
- 1 lemon; juiced and zested
- Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
- Salt & Pepper to taste
Place a high sided pan over medium heat along with the vegetable oil and allow to come up to temperature. To prepare the leeks, cut the white and pale green part off of the stem. Cut the leeks in half lengthwise and wash thoroughly (try to keep each half in tact). Thinly slice the leeks into even pieces, about 2" -inches long. Dry thoroughly. Test the oil with a few pieces to make sure the oil is the correct temperature and not too hot or cold. Using a slotted spoon, lower the leeks into the oil. Fry them for about 1 to 2 minutes, just until they turn golden. Be careful of any splattering oil. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towel to drain.
In a blender, combine 1 cup parsley, chervil, chives, 2 cloves garlic, shallot, anchovy, capers and lemon juice. Pulse to puree. With the motor running, very slowly drizzle in 1 cup of the olive oil until it is thoroughly incorporated. Transfer to a bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Combine the reserved parsley and garlic along with the pistachios, lemon, and red pepper in a small bowl; let stand 15 minutes to allow flavors to develop. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Remove the small side muscle from the scallops, rinse with cold water and thoroughly pat dry. Place a large saute pan over high heat with reserved tbsp olive oil and butter. Season both sides of the scallops liberally with salt and pepper and wait for the pan to come up to temperature. When the pan is hot (thin wisps of smoke should be coming off the pan), gently add the scallops one at a time to the pan, making sure they are not touching each other. Move quickly and ensure they have even contact with the pan. Cook for one minute, looking for browning at the edges, then flip. The scallops should have a 1/4-inch golden crust on each side while still being translucent in the center