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Main Dish

Seared scallops with Meyer lemons and sunchoke purée

Jamie Lauren
Absinthe Brasserie & Bar, San Francisco

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1 tbsp. olive oil (Agrumato olive oil pressed with lemons)
3 cloves garlic, sliced
Salt, to taste
2 tbsp. Meyer lemon juice
8 baby artichokes, quartered (see below)
1/4 cup vegetable stock
4 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 bunch chard, cleaned and chopped
Sunchoke puree, warmed (see below)
12 scallops (see below)

Slow-cooked artichokes
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 sprigs thyme (lemon thyme is preferable)
10 cloves garlic, smashed
1 small yellow onion, cut into quarters
Salt, to taste
8 baby (or small) artichokes, cleaned and de-choked
4 bay leaves
2 Meyer lemons, sliced
2 Meyer lemons, juiced
Water, to cover

Sunchoke puree
2 tbsp. butter
6 cloves garlic, sliced
1 small yellow onion, sliced
Salt, to taste
3 lb. sunchokes, peeled (save 3 sunchokes for the chip garnish on the plate)
1 quart heavy cream
2 cups vegetable stock

12 day boat scallops (or large scallops)
Salt, to taste
2 tbsp. oil
1 tbsp. unsalted butter


In a sauté pan, heat olive oil and add garlic. Toast garlic lightly and season with salt. Add lemon juice and reduce slightly. Add artichokes and vegetable stock. Cook until vegetables are heated through. Add butter and swirl in to create a sauce. Add chard and wilt slightly. Adjust seasoning. To serve, place some of the warm sunchoke puree in the center of plate. Top with artichoke mixture (about 2 artichokes per person) and arrange the scallops around.

Slow-cooked artichokes
In a saucepot, heat olive oil. Add thyme and garlic and cook until soft. Add onion. Season with salt. Add artichokes, bay leaves, lemons and lemon juice. Cover with water and bring to a slow simmer. Cook until artichokes are no longer hard. Allow artichokes to cool and cut into quarters.

Sunchoke puree
In a saucepot, melt butter over low heat. Add garlic and toast until golden. Add onions and cook until soft. Season with salt. Add sunchokes and cover with cream and vegetable stock. Bring to a slow simmer. Cook until sunchokes are tender, about an hour. Remove from heat and puree in a blender until smooth. (Do not add all the liquid or the puree will be too thin.) Adjust seasoning with salt. Reserve. Warm on the stove just prior to serving.

Drain and rinse scallops thoroughly, then pat dry with paper towels. Season with salt. Sear scallops in oil until medium rare to medium, then baste with butter.

Serves 4

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