Getting my springtime groove on and the thought of SEARED SCALLOPS WITH BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND PEARS sets my heart “atwirl”. I just love fresh Sea Scallops, and grilling or searing in a pan, to me, are cooking methods just made for them. Since my mojo always dictates the need for something for scallops to perch upon, instead of the expected risotto or pasta, I’m taking a turn to a beautiful mixture of vegetables – a little bit healthy while maintaining a little bit rock and roll with the snappy visual – great color – and the addition of the ever flavorful touch of pork – pancetta.
Scallops in Italian cooking: Scallops go so far back in time relative to the Mediterranean that it almost can’t be pinpointed. Marco Polo mentioned them in his writing, but they long pre-dated him. They are called “capesante” in Italy and are cooked all sorts of ways – breaded, in sauces, risottos, pastas etc. It is recommended whether in Italy or anywhere to purchase and eat them as freshly as possible for the best results.
Searing scallops: There are just a few things to keep in mind for a successful sear. Dryness of your scallops is probably the most important thing. If your scallops are wet – they won’t sear – they will steam – and that lovely sizzled look will not be yours. Pat them dry first ,as much as you can, with paper towels. Then 2-3 minutes at a high heat will do the trick!
You will love this preparation. It is fresh. It is fairly simple. It is a most delicious dish. The recipe is made for two for a reason. This is a very special dish for a special evening – so much so, that I suggest pairing this with a bottle of your favorite champagne! Go for it!
SEARED SCALLOPS WITH BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND PEARS
Prep: 50-60 minutes
1 C. butternut squash cut up, drizzled with olive oil, salt and pepper added, then roasted at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes until tender
1/4 C. Finely Chopped Pancetta
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 Tbsp. Butter
1 C. Sliced Fennel
1/2 C. Chopped Pear
1/4 C. Dry White wine
1/4 C. Heavy Cream
8 Sea Scallops (4 per person)
1 Tbsp. Butter
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
Plenty of Chopped Fresh Chives for garnish
2 Tbsp. Toasted Pignoli (pine nuts)
After roasting the butternut squash, cut it into very small pieces (diced). Set aside.
In a pan, cook the pancetta in the olive oil and butter about 2 minutes.
Add the fennel and pear – Cook about 5 minutes.
Add the roasted squash, toss, and then add the wine. Cook down for a
about 3-4 minutes.
Adjust seasoning – add salt and pepper to taste.
Add the cream. Heat through.
For Scallops: Smell the scallops to make sure they smell sweet and are fresh. Pat them dry with paper towels. Heat the butter and olive oil in a pan until very hot. Add scallops – sear about 2 minutes and turn over, cooking another minute. (or 2 if extra thick)
Divide the vegetable mixture between two plates. Top with Seared Scallops
Garnish the dish with chopped fresh chives and toasted pignoli (pine nuts) and serve immediately.
Now pop that champagne for a very special dinner for two with SEARED SCALLOPS WITH BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND PEARS!
PARLA COME MANGI!
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Food Photos By Tommy Hanks Photography