|Posted on October 11, 2013 at 5:50 PM|
This dish looks hard to make, but it's really quite simple. Cook the bacon, puree the cauliflower and make the pesto ahead of time so you have the time to focus on perfectly cooking those scallops. Also, you don't always have to use pinenuts in a pesto, almonds or walnuts will work just as well!
Prep Time: 25 Minutes
Cook Time: 7 Minutes
By: Chef Hallie Norvet
5 Slices Bacon
1 Head Cauliflower, Cut into Florets
1/2 Cup Heavy Cream
Salt and Pepper
1/2 Cup Fresh Basil Leaves
1/4 Cup Fresh Tarragon Leaves
2 Tablespoon Chopped Almonds, Pinenuts or Walnuts
2 Tablespoons Grated Parmesan Cheese
1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
12 Medium-Large Scallops (U-15)
Cook bacon in a medium skillet over medium high heat until crispy. Dry on paper towel then chop into bacon bits. Put to bacon side. In a medium saucepot add cauliflower florets. Cover with warm water until halfway. Place lid on pot and cook over medium-high heat for 10 minutes or until cauliflower is tender. Drain cauliflower and return to pot with no heat. Add cream and a pinch of salt and pepper to taste. Blend ingredients with an immersion blender until smooth. Add 1 or 2 tablespoons of water if needed. Hold puree in pot and keep warm until ready to serve.
In a blender or with your immersion blender, blend nuts, basil, tarragon, parmesan cheese and 1/2 cup olive oil until incorporated. I like my pesto a little chunkier, but you can blend yours until your desired consistency. Season pesto with salt and pepper to taste. If pesto is a little bitter, add more cheese or a small amount of honey.Put to side until ready to serve.
Remove scallops from the fridge and pat dry with paper towels. The drier they are, the crispier they will be. Remove additional abductor muscle on scallop if present. Season scallops well with salt and pepper. Heat a large saute pan over high heat and add 2 tablespoons olive oil. Once you start to see little whisps of smoke rise from the pan, it is time to sear the scallops. Make sure oil is spread evenly over pan surface, and gently add scallops to pan. Allow scallops to cook over high heat for 2 minutes. With a fish spatula or a pair of tongs, gently lift scallops off of pan and flip. Cook for another two minutes on the other side. Scallops are done when opaque and firm.
Plate cauliflower sauce first, then add scallops, top with bacon crumble and drizzle pesto oil around plate. Enjoy!