A lovely Spring Supper! Rhubarb vinegar adds a special touch, color and zesty flavor
- 1 ¼ pounds sea scallops (day boat if available), tough muscles removed
- 3 teaspoon neutral oil*, divided
- ⅛ teaspoon tumeric
- ⅛ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 pinch sea salt, try Himalayan
- ¾ pound fresh asparagus, cleaned and trimmed
- 1 ½ pounds jerusalem artichokes**, gently peeled
- 2 teaspoons unsalted butter
- ¼ cup Rhubarb Vinegar, see recipe
- 1 teaspoon fresh garlic, peeled and minced
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves, or to taste
Pat dry the scallops, place them on a plate to hold and drizzle 1 t. oil on top with the turmeric and smoked paprika, blend in.
Heat a stick proof or cast iron skillet with a 2 t. neutral oil. Set the heat to high, when hot, add the scallops and let sear on the first side. Turn over with tongs when very golden on the bottom. Turn the heat down to low and let the scallops cook through on the second side. Season with a sprinkle of sea salt. This will depend on the size you are using, do not over cook. (If making in advance – take the scallops of of the pan when they are still soft and undercooked on the second size. Place in a baking dish to hold, reheat in a arm oven until cooked through.)
Natural Mashed Jerusalem Artichokes:
Save one artichoke for fried, crispy artichoke rounds if desired (see recipe on bottom.)
Gently peel the artichokes, cut in quarters and drop in lemon-water so they do not discolor.
Drain and add them to a pot, cover halfway with filtered water.
Bring to a boil, then simmer, covered until cooked and tender, 5 – 7 minutes.
Strain and add the cooked chokes to a bowl, add 2 t. butter and a dash of salt. Mash until desired consistency.
Peel asparagus stalks if they are very thick.
Leave long lengths, or cut each in half.
In a large cast iron skillet, add a few teaspoons of neutral oil and raise heat to high. When very hot, and the oil is shimmering, add the asparagus.
To char – leave undisturbed and let blacken a bit on the bottom, not stirring.
When charred a bit, stir up, reduce heat to low and sauté until crisp-tender. Season with a pinch of salt.
Rhubarb Butter Sauce:
In a small, non-reactive heavy gauge stainless 1 quart pot, add 1/4 cup rhubarb vinegar, minced garlic and ground cloves. Bring to a boil, then simmer over low heat until reduced by half, about 1 minute. Take off heat. Cut the cold butter into tablespoons and add one piece – a fork works beautifully, swirling into the pot.
Add another tablespoon when the first has emulsified until all is used. Do NOT stir over high heat – do not want the sauce to separate or “break”. Serve immediately.
To finish the dish:
To each plate, add a serving of mashed jerusalem artichokes (an ice cream scoop works well!)
Add a portion of scallops, then some charred asparagus.
Drizzle the Rhubarb Butter Sauce all around. Sprinkle a little ground cloves on top of the sauce.
Top with fried artichoke chips.
Fried Artichoke Crisps:
Slice one medium Jerusalem Artichoke very thinly with a sharp knife or mandoline.
Place on paper towels and pat dry.
Heat 1/2 cup of neutral oil in a hot small pot. When oil is hot ( you can test one piece and see if it sizzles), add them all to the pot and fry until lightly and golden and crisp. Remove them to paper towels to drain with a slotted spoon. Season lightly with sea salt and enjoy.
* with concerns about gmo’s and processing of oils, use a vegetable oil which has not been chemically treated, this is called “expeller pressed”.
** also known as “sunchokes” (see BLOG for facts and tips)