Seared Scallops with Fava Bean Sauté
There is no better combination than scallops and bacon—save for the addition of a spring sauté of favas, sugar snap peas, and tarragon.
What to buy: Look for “dry” scallops that are off-white in color. They are not chemically treated, allowing them to caramelize naturally during searing. (“Wet” scallops—plump, stark-white mollusks that are treated with preservatives like phosphates—will taste bland and will not brown properly when cooked.)
- Kosher salt
- 2 pounds fava beans in their pods
- 4 ounces bacon, small dice (about 3/4 cup)
- 12 fresh sea scallops (about 14 ounces)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/4 stick)
- 1 medium shallot, small dice
- 1/2 pound sugar snap peas, cut in half (about 2 cups)
- 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh tarragon leaves
1Bring a medium pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, remove the fava beans from their pods and discard the pods. Boil the favas in the salted water until the bean inside each skin is bright green and firm but not hard, about 1 to 2 minutes.
2Drain the beans in a colander and run cold water over them to cool. Once cool, peel the light green skin from each bean to reveal two bright green inner halves; discard the skins. Place the favas in a small bowl and set aside.
3Place the bacon in a large frying pan and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 6 to 8 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper-towel-lined plate and set aside. Also set the pan aside with the bacon fat.
4Using paper towels, pat the scallops very dry and season with salt and pepper.
5Heat the frying pan with the reserved bacon fat over high heat until smoking. Place the scallops in the pan and sear until the bottoms are deep golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes. Using tongs, flip the scallops (if the scallops stick, wait until they naturally release before flipping) and sear the second side until the scallops are opaque in the center, about 1 to 2 minutes more. Transfer to a plate.
6Meanwhile, melt the butter in a medium frying pan over medium heat. When the foaming subsides, add the shallot, season with salt and pepper, and sauté until softened, about 4 minutes. Stir in the reserved favas and the snap peas and sauté until heated through, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the vinegar, tarragon, and reserved bacon. Season with salt and pepper.
7To serve, divide the vegetable sauté between 2 plates and nestle 6 scallops on top of each serving.
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