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Chef's Corner: Sea Scallops with Belgian Endive and Roasted Cherry Tomatoes



Here's our adaptation of a simple and delicious recipe from Chef Jonathan Waxman.  When cherry tomatoes are in season (particularly if you grow your own), we like to make up batches of these roasted tomatoes which can be used throughout the year in recipes such as this and our Spaghetti with Oven Roasted Tomatoes and Bottarga.


This dish is great for a regular meal or elegant party.


Always look for 'dry' scallops (that is, there are no additives). Alexander's often has fresh diver scallops which are exactly what you want when you can get them.


We've seen many complicated instructions on how to cook restaurant, picture perfect scallops , but not often the one we've found, which is also the easiest! Check it out below. Once you get the hang of it you will have perfectly cooked, gorgeous scallops, every time.


Serves two to four as a main course (depending on how hungry you are and what else you are serving) or four as a appetizer (you can cut down on the number of scallops if desired).


 

Sea Scallops with Belgian Endive and Roasted Cherry Tomatoes


Roasted Tomatoes


  • Extra virgin olive oil

  • 10 oz. cherry tomatoes

  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced

  • Pinch of sugar

  • 1 bay leaf

  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

  • Hot pepper flakes (optional)


Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees F.


Cut tomatoes in half and place in a well oiled baking dish. Sprinkle with the sliced garlic, sugar, bay leaf, salt and pepper and  some hot pepper flakes, if using. Bake until the tomatoes are lightly caramelized. Approximately one hour, checking often to make sure they do not burn. The juices should be just slightly thickened.


Can be made ahead and frozen.



Scallops


  • Roasted tomatoes

  • 5 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil 

  • 2 heads Belgian endive, trimmed and quartered lengthwise

  • 1 small sweet onion, thickly sliced. Vidalia or Maui onions would be nice if you can get them

  • Juice of ½ lemon

  • Juice of ½ lime

  • Leaves from 1 sprig tarragon

  • Additional salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

  • 1 pound large sea scallops

  • Lemon wedges for serving (optional)


Preheat oven to 400º. Put 4 TB of the oil into a large enameled cast-iron or other heavy-bottomed pot. Add endive, onions, ¼ cup water, salt and pepper to taste and gently toss until well coated. Cover pot, transfer to oven, and roast until vegetables begin to caramelize, 25–30 minutes.




Remove the pot from the oven. If using pre-made roasted tomatoes, bring them to room temperature in advance. Add the tomatoes to the pot, gently tossing until well coated. Add lemon and lime juices and tarragon and adjust salt and pepper to taste. Set aside to cool.


Prepare heated serving plates with equal amounts of the vegetables.


Scallops should never be overcooked as they'll turn to rubber. Heat the remaining 1 TB oil in a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Generously season scallops with salt and pepper. Sear scallops on one side until golden and practically cooked, about 1-2 minutes (see the picture at the top of the page for the best example). Remember that the scallops will continue to cook slightly even after taken off the heat.



Remove the pan from the heat and quickly turn the scallops over and let the pan "kiss" them with some heat. Immediately place equal amounts of scallops golden side up (who looks at the bottom?) on the prepared plates and serve.


WINE SUGGESTION:  A crisp sauvignon blanc or your favorite chardonnay.

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