Borscht is the inspiration for the vibrant beet accompaniment to these seared jumbo scallops. After roasting the vegetables, Shea Gallante coarsely chops them, mixes them with a raspberry vinaigrette and then tops them with a terrific warm horseradish cream. "I used to hate beets, but now I like them, especially roasted and served with horseradish," he says.
Slideshow: More Scallop Recipes
1 pound large unpeeled beets, cut into 1-inch wedges
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon raspberry vinegar
1 small shallot, minced
1 tablespoon drained prepared horseradish
1/2 cup crème fraîche
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
12 jumbo scallops (about 1 pound)
How to Make It
Preheat the oven to 375°. Put the beet wedges in a medium baking dish, season with salt and pepper and add the water. Cover the dish tightly with foil and bake for about 1 1/2 hours, or until the beets are tender. Let cool slightly.
Peel the roasted beets and transfer to a food processor. Pulse several times, just until coarsely chopped. Transfer the chopped beets to a bowl and stir in 1/4 cup of the olive oil, the raspberry vinegar and a pinch each of salt and pepper.
In a small skillet, combine the minced shallot with the horseradish, crème fraîche and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, just until the crème fraîche is melted, 1 to 2 minutes. Keep the sauce warm over low heat.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil until nearly smoking. Using a paring knife, score a shallow crosshatch pattern into one side of each scallop. Season the scallops with salt and pepper and add them to the skillet, scored side down. Cook over high heat until the bottom is browned, about 3 minutes. Turn and cook until the scallops are lightly browned on the second side, and just cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes; don't let the scallops become opaque.
Spoon the roasted beet salad onto plates and top with the seared scallops. Drizzle the warm horseradish cream all around and serve right away.
The roasted beet salad can be refrigerated overnight. Return to room temperature before making the sauce and cooking the scallops.
A dish like this one, with both sweet flavors (scallops) and hot ones (horseradish), usually pairs best with either a crisp but full-bodied white or a lively rosé (rosés combine the fruitiness of red wines with the briskness of whites). Good choices include Alsace Pinot Gris, Italian rosato or French rosé.
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