Scallops with Carrot Cream and Pickled Carrots
Source: Becky Selengut, author of Good Fish: Sustainable Seafood Recipes from the Pacific Coast (Sasquatch Books, 2011)
This recipe was demonstrated on June 11, 2011.
1 pound scallops
2 cups carrots, peeled and chopped into large pieces, plus 1 cup multi-colored carrots, peeled and sliced into long ribbons on a mandoline
1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1/2 cup cream
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
1/4 cup basil, leaves picked
1/2 cup Italian parsley
1 tablespoon marjoram, plus more for garnish
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon high heat vegetable oil (for searing scallops)
1. Lay scallops on a towel set on a plate to make sure they are very dry. Keep in the fridge until you are ready to use.
2. Add the 2 cups of carrots to a medium-size sauce pan, cover with water and add 1 teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil and cook for about 7-8 minutes until the carrots are tender. Drain the carrots and add to a blender or food processor along with cream and a pinch of salt and some grindings of black pepper. Blend into a smooth puree. If you desire the smoothest texture, pass the puree through a fine-mesh sieve. Set aside.
3. Add the multi-colored carrot slices to a non-reactive bowl and quick-pickle them by covering them with the seasoned rice vinegar for at least 20 minutes. Set aside.
4. Make the herb oil: combine basil, parsley and marjoram in a blender along with the extra virgin olive oil and vegetable oil and blend well until puree turns a vibrant green color, about 3 minutes. Add a pinch of salt to season. You can strain if you'd like or leave the oil with some texture. Transfer to a bowl, or if you'd like to be all fancy-pants, feel free to transfer into a squeeze bottle.
5. Season scallops generously with salt and pepper. Heat oil over high heat in a large sauté pan. When pan is extremely hot, lay scallops carefully into the pan and cook, undisturbed, on each side until deeply caramelized, about 2-3 minutes on each side for larger scallops, 1-2 minutes per side for smaller scallops. Remove from pan.
6. To serve: Lay a bit of the carrot cream on each of four plates. Top with scallops. Garnish with herb oil, drained curls of the carrot, and marjoram leaves.