Califonia Bountiful
Main Dish

Brown butter scallops and roasted walnuts

This dish is amazingly simple to create, yet the nuances of sour, salty and crunchy balance the umami of the scallops beautifully!

Chef Dustin Valette
Valette Restaurant, Healdsburg

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1 onion, peeled and sliced thin
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and sliced thin
1 head garlic, peeled and sliced into small pieces
1/2 cup butter, divided use
Kosher salt and fresh pepper, to taste
1 pinch Spanish saffron
3/4 cup thinly sliced and diced coppa (can substitute prosciutto)
1 cup diced walnuts, divided use
1/2 preserved lemon, diced small (available in most specialty stores)
1/2 bunch chives, sliced thin
4 tbsp. La Tourangelle Roasted Walnut Oil
12 fresh U10 or diver scallops
Cooking oil, such as canola or avocado
1/2 bunch young, thin asparagus, ends removed and spears cut in half
1 cup red-veined sorrel leaves (can substitute green sorrel)


For pepper and walnut relish: Combine onions, peppers and garlic in a medium to large sauté pan over medium heat. Add 2 tbsp. butter, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring often, until onions are translucent and tender. Add saffron, coppa, 1/2 cup walnuts and an additional 2 tbsp. butter. Adjust seasoning and reserve warm.

For walnut vinaigrette: Place remaining 1/2 cup walnuts, preserved lemon, chives and walnut oil in a small bowl and adjust seasoning. Whisk together to slightly emulsify. Set aside until ready to use.

For scallops: Remove the small muscle on the side of each scallop and season with salt and pepper. Place on a chilled plate. In a hot sauté pan, add a little cooking oil and remaining 4 tbsp. butter. When butter starts to bubble, add scallops and sear for about 3 minutes or until medium rare. Reserve warm.

To serve: Season raw, sliced asparagus with a little walnut vinaigrette, salt and pepper. Arrange asparagus in the center of the plate. Top with a spoonful of warm pepper and walnut relish, a little sorrel and 2 pieces of scallops. Drizzle vinaigrette on scallops and around the plate. Repeat with remaining plates.

Serves 4 to 6

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