Scallops with Saffron Cream and Turnip Greens
- TOTAL TIME: 35 MIN
- SERVINGS: 4
Chef John Hikade uses 2 tablespoons of roasted garlic puree instead of the shallots when he makes his dish at Arborvine in Blue Hill, Maine.
- 1 small pinch of saffron threads
- 2/3 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 pound baby turnip greens, stems and thick inner ribs discarded, leaves coarsely chopped
- 24 large sea scallops (about 1 1/4 pounds)
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons minced shallot
- 1/4 cup dry vermouth
- In a small measuring bowl, crumble the saffron into the heavy cream. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil until shimmering. Add the turnip greens and cook over moderately high heat, tossing, until wilted and tender, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and keep warm. Wipe out the skillet.
- Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in the skillet until shimmering. Season the scallops with salt and pepper and add them to the skillet in a single layer. Cook over high heat until browned on the bottom, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn and cook until lightly browned and opaque throughout, about 2 minutes longer. Transfer the scallops to a plate and pour off any oil in the skillet.
- Melt the butter in the skillet. Add the shallot and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until softened, about 1 1/2 minutes. Add the vermouth and cook, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan, until nearly evaporated. Add the saffron cream and simmer until thickened and slightly reduced, 3 to 4 minutes. Season the sauce with salt and pepper. Mound the turnip greens on plates, top with the scallops and sauce and serve.
The cream sauce and sweet sea scallops suggest a rich Chardonnay that won't overwhelm the mild seafood. Look for a ripe example without too much obvious oak from New Zealand or Australia.
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Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.