Prep 40 mins
Cook 10 mins
This recipe comes from the La Sierna restaurant in Alicante. Presented in stark white soup bowls, the fat, seared scallops come in a delightful sweet-tart broth strewn with a bright confetti of diced zucchini, pumpkin, and mushrooms. What gives the dish an unusual citrusy kick and mystique is the candied lemon peel. Adapted to a home kitchen, the scallops make a showstopping first course. They are also simple to make, as you can use high-quality store-bought candied lemon instead of making your own. If you'd like to serve the dish as a main course, just increase the number of scallops to 6 per person. Adapted from "The New Spanish Table" cookbook. Butternut squash or calabaza can be substituted for the pumpkin. Chicken broth can be substituted for fish stock if you don't have any, or use a combination of both. Prep time includes standing time. Serves 4 as a first course.
- 1⁄3 cup zucchini, diced to 1/4-inch
- 1⁄3 cup yellow pumpkin, diced to 1/4-inch
- 1⁄4 cup red bell pepper, diced to 1/4-inch
- 1⁄4 cup white mushroom, cleaned and diced to 1/4-inch
- 3 tablespoons heaping candied lemon peel, diced
- 6 tablespoons fresh juice from a tart-sweet oranges
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 16 large sea scallops
- coarse salt & freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1⁄4 cup fish stock
- 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar (to taste)
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- Place the zucchini, pumpkin, red pepper, mushrooms, and candied lemon in a large bowl and toss to mix. Add the orange and lemon juice, toss and let vegetables stand for about 30 minutes.
- Pat the scallops dry with paper towels and season with salt & pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a very large skillet over high heat until almost smoking. Working in two batches, cook the scallops until golden brown and opaque throughout, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer the cooked scallops to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.
- Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a medium-size skillet over medium heat. Add the diced vegetables and their soaking liquid and cook until they just begin to soften slightly but are still bright colored, about 1 1/2 minutes. Add the fish stock and cook until warm, about 1 minute. Add the wine and balsamic vinegars, season with salt & pepper to taste, and remove the sauce from the heat.
- Divide the scallops among elegant soup plates and spoon the vegetables and some liquid around them. Serve at once.