Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Scallops with Fava Beans, Dandelion Greens, Ramps, and Pancetta

 This dish hardly requires a recipe, as it consists of little more than the ingredients listed in the title.  That's what I love about spring produce; it is so delicious on its own that gussying it up with any other ingredients usually does more harm than good.  In this case, I've paired seared jumbo sea scallops with blanched fava beans and dandelion greens, ramps, and crispy pancetta that I have sauteed in a bit of olive oil.  A drizzle of sherry vinegar, a few cracks of salt and pepper, and you have spring on a plate.

Scallops with Fava Beans, Dandelion Greens, Ramps, and Pancetta
Serves 2

  • 1 lb. fava beans, shelled
  • 2 tbsp
  • 1/4 lb. piece of pancetta, diced
  • 1 bunch of ramps, cleaned, trimmed and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1 bunch of dandelion greens, cleaned and trimmed
  • 8 large sea scallops
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • Sherry vinegar
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add the shelled fava beans to the water and boil for 2 minutes.  Immediately drain the favas and add them to a bowl of ice water to cool.  Once cooled, peel each fava and place the beans in a bowl.
  2. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the pancetta and cook, stirring occasionally, until the fat renders and the pancetta begins to crisp.  Add the ramps and cook until some of the pieces begin to brown.  Add the dandelion greens and cook until they begin to wilt.  Season with salt and pepper and drizzle a bit of Sherry vinegar over the greens. 
  3. Meanwhile, as the dandelion pancetta cooks, prepare the scallops.  Pat them dry with a paper towel and season them with salt and pepper.  Heat a tablespoon each of olive oil and butter in a large skillet over high heat.  Add the scallops and cook, undisturbed, until they are well-browned on one side, about 2 to 3 minutes.  Flip the scallops and cook on the other side until it is well-browned, another 2 to 3 minutes.  Set the scallops aside on a plate.
  4. To plate the dish, divide the ramps and dandelion greens among two plates.  Quickly heat the fava beans in one of the skillets just until they are hot and surround the greens with the beans.  Top the greens with the scallops.  Serve immediately.

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