Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Scallops and... Blueberries? A Surprising Salad.

   When I was a kid I remember scallops, and I can say not very fondly. As a native San Franciscan, the scallops that I grew up eating were wild bay scallops. Unfortunately, once they'd gone through Fran's kitchen they came out more like eraser heads, and not the good Eraserhead.

   Tiny, hard and rubbery wild bay scallops are tough to cook properly as they tend to over-cook without showing any sign of it.

   "Who me? I'm good. I always turn hard like this after 5 minutes on on the stove" I hate that. Sneaky scallops. This recipe however does not deal with wild teeny tiny bay scallops. It deals with The Other Scallop, the Ocean Scallop.

   These guys.

    Now Ocean Scallops are no walk in the park either just because they're larger. Whenever I watch any cooking show, the scallops have been the downfall of many a chef. Cooked too little, cooked too much, it sometimes seems that there's no way to win with these suckers. However, when studying up on the way things are done at the famous Danish restaurant noma, scallops can be a snap, and the combo of scallops and blueberries which seemed strange at the start could not have been more perfect.

   I served this dish as one of a series of small plates at my noma dinner. It could also be a great first course salad for a special dinner, or even a special light lunch. Either way, it's pretty fast and easy to get on the table.

Seared Ocean Scallops With Blueberry Vinaigrette and Pea Shoots

Here's What You Need:

8 large Ocean scallops  (2 per person)
1 Tbs unsalted butter
1 Tbs olive oil
salt to taste
1/2 cup of fresh blueberries
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 finely chopped shallot
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbs finely shredded parmesan
fresh mixed greens
edible flowers
pea shoots or other greens, whatever you desire.

Here's What To Do:

Rinse, and clean your salad greens. Dry them and set them aside.
Heat the oil and butter in a skillet.
When the butter and oil are hot, pop the scallops into the pan.

Sear the scallops fast. 1 minute on each side.

You don't want to cook them too long as... remember what I said about Eraserhead? You don't want that to happen, so just remember: Short, hot and fast.
When the scallops are cooked through set them aside.
Divide the cleaned greens and edible flowers between four plates.
Set 2 scallops on top of each bed of greens and set the plates aside.
Don't clean the skillet the scallops were cooked in. Instead toss the blueberries, shallot, lemon zest, lemon juice and oil into the pan.

Bring the mixture to a boil.

Crush some of the blueberries with a whisk.
Add salt and pepper to taste. You can add a bit more lemon juice if you wish.
Pour the viniagrette over the scallops and greens.
Sprinkle each salad with a pinch of parmesan. Season with pepper.
Serve it up.

There it is, simple, fast and pretty easy for such a dramatic result.

   I've learned a lot from the Danes and their groundbreaking cooking. Meanwhile, back at Indian food, I just returned from a business trip to LA which included an Eat My Way Through Arteisa (Southern California's Little India) Adventure. Much was eaten and I'm going to be sharing all the details. I usually never take pictures of my food, but hey, when it involves over an hour drive on the LA freeways in search of food, I'm taking a damn picture.
   Follow along on Twitter @kathygori


  1. This salad looks gorgeous and I love the addition of the edible flowers! We never make scallops at home because I worry they'd turn out like the scallops from Fran's kitchen but yours look perfect!

    1. Thanks, they cook so fast that's sort of what makes this dish easy and tricky at the same time, but well worth it.

  2. I have ne'er seen this kind of dish in my entire life, due to that i prefer to air your website as a result of I knew that i'm aiming to notice one thing new on your site and extremely it's beautiful.



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