When I heard about a luscious scallop dish my husband had during his business trip this week in Philadelphia, I got a little jealous and decided to compete by creating a recipe for him to try upon returning home.
Figs are still available, at a local farmer’s market, and today the scallops were sold (Dean & Deluca) within 24 hours of being caught (harvested?) and couldn’t be fresher. I decided to combine seafood and fresh fruit and here, below, is what I came up with. Serve these delicious flavors with an icy white Bordeaux (we get most of our wines from Sherry-Lehmann here in Manhattan) served in chilled glasses and lovely warm French bread to sop up any juices left on the plate. Or, join us – we’ve recently fallen into a Bellini groove.
8 Fresh Figs
2 teaspoons or more sugar-free apricot jam
1 Tablespoon Sugar-free maple syrup
1 Butternut Squash
1 pound Sea scallops
Pinch Salt and pepper (or no salt)
Very fine balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup arugula
Annie Chun roasted seaweed for garnish
1. Peel and roast the butternut squash. Then puree it in a food processor and add the sugar-free maple syrup and pepper to your taste. Salt if you wish. Keep warm and set aside
2. Wash figs, remove stems and halve lengthwise. Dip the cut side of the figs in the sugar-free apricot jam and set aside.
3. Wash arugula very well and drain. Then dry on paper towel. Put in a small bowl and toss with about 1 Tablespoons of olive oil and a few drops of the balsamic.
4. Heat a skillet over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, so the surface is lightly coated. Add a little sugar-free apricot jam and on it, put the figs cut side down until lightly caramelized.
5. Flip figs and cook for an additional 30 seconds, remove from pan, and reserve. Add one drop (we keep a regular medicine dropper in the kitchen) of balsamic to each fig half and put them aside, trying to keep them warm.
6. Wash scallops and dry with paper towel. Cut each Sea scallop in half and lightly coat with almond flour.
7. Season scallops lightly with black pepper and salt if you wish.
8. Use the same pan, with oil and jam left in it. If you need more olive oil, add it lightly and mix it with the remaining jam.
9. Add scallops and cook for 1 to 3 minutes (until a golden color). Turn the heat up, but be sure to constantly swirl the pan so that the scallops are rolling around and don’t get tough or burnt.
10. Get ready to serve. Put the arugula on each plate. Now place half of the scallops on the arugula and then a fig half on top of the scallop.
11. To the pan juice, add the butternut squash puree and heat and stir it with all the pan juices until nice and warm. If the squash is not the consistency of a sauce, slowly add some chicken broth until there is the desired thinner sauce. Now spoon this butternut squash sauce over the scallops and figs and serve. Crush the seaweed and sprinkle it over the sauce and serve.
12. One option: At the last stage, when you’re stirring the butternut squash with the pan juices, consider adding 1 or 2 Tablespoons of cream sherry. Do this slowly so you can taste before adding the second Tablespoon.
13. Another option: If you’re pressed for time, consider using a frozen package of Birds Eye Southland frozen butternut squash. Thaw and warm it up, taste, and consider adding sugar-free maple syrup or cream sherry. If not, use as is to pour over the scallops and figs. Crush the seaweed and sprinkle over the scallop/figs.
Consider serving rice or quinoa or orzo, or not. For dessert, we had another recipe I’m experimenting with, that I call Mango Mousse.
From Our Table to Yours