Recipe from Heather Christo’s Generous Table by Heather Christo (Kyle Books, 2013)
Sea scallops are so naturally rich and buttery that I wanted to create an appetizer that would highlight their fantastic flavor and texture. Making sure that they are just barely cooked through on the inside and nice and crispy on the outside is essential (see hint below.) I also whipped up a simple and incredibly delicious artichoke pesto, which lends a nice contrast in texture and color to the scallops.
Serves 4 to 6
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
- 1 pound sea scallops (10 to 15)
- kosher salt and freshly
- ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed but left whole micro greens, for garnish
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 cup roughly chopped
- fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1/2 cup steamed fresh artichoke hearts
- 1/2 cup blanched almonds
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1⁄3 cup lemon juice
- 1⁄3 cup olive oil
- kosher salt
Generous Tip: Be sure to heat your pan over medium-high heat until very hot. This will probably take several minutes. To ensure a crispy sear, pat your scallops dry with paper towels. Do not overcrowd the pan—cook them in batches—otherwise your scallops will steam, not sear!
Make Ahead: The pesto can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to 2 days.
1. First make the Artichoke Pesto: In the bowl of a food processor, combine the garlic, parsley, artichoke hearts, almonds and Parmesan. Pulse until combined but still chunky. With the machine running, stream in the lemon juice and olive oil. When the pesto is creamy, thick and bright green, season with salt. Set aside.
2. Rinse and drain the scallops. Pat dry and season both sides with salt and pepper.
3. Heat a 10-inch pan over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil, butter and smashed garlic cloves. As the garlic cloves begin to brown and flavor the oil, add the scallops to the pan—but only 5 to 6 at a time. Cook until browned on one side, about 1 minute, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Flip the scallops over and cook until the scallops are still a little translucent in the middle and golden and a little crisp on the edges, about 2 minutes total.
4. Transfer the scallops to a serving dish with a dollop of pesto. Garnish with a little micro greens and serve immediately.