Seared Scallops with Braised Collard Greens and Cider Sauce
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 thick slices of bacon, thinly sliced crosswise
1 onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 1/2 pounds collard greens, stems and ribs discarded, leaves cut into 1-inch
1 cup dry white wine
4 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
16 very large diver scallops or 2 pounds large sea scallops
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2/3 cup apple cider
In a large pot, heat 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil. Add the bacon and cook over moderate heat until browned, about 5 minutes. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the collard greens and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the wine and cook, stirring, until the collards are wilted, about 5 minutes longer.
Add all but 1/3 cup of the chicken stock to the collards and bring to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper and cook over moderately low heat until tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Add 2 tablespoons of the cider vinegar and 2 tablespoons of the butter and simmer for 10 more minutes; keep warm.
Season the scallops with salt and pepper and sprinkle with the flour, tapping off the excess. In a large skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the scallops and cook over high heat until golden on the bottom, about 4 minutes. Turn and cook the scallops until lightly browned and cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes longer. Transfer the scallops to a large plate and keep warm.
Return the skillet to high heat. Add the apple cider, the remaining 1/3 cup of the chicken stock and 1 tablespoon of the vinegar and cook, scraping up any browned bits, until slightly reduced, 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to moderate, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of the butter and shake the pan until the butter is incorporated. Strain into a bowl.
Using a slotted spoon, mound the collards on 8 plates. Top each serving with 2 scallops and sauce and serve.
The collard greens can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.
Scallops make most wines taste tinny, but a top Grüner Veltliner copes with this and matches the shellfish's sweetness.