Seared Scallops with Creamy Spring Ramps

Sauteed spring ramps with a splash of cream make a sensuously delicate side for succulent, briny seared scallops. Serve alongside a few spears of locally grown asparagus for the ultimate spring meal. Or serve the ramps as a side dish with your choice of accompaniments.
Seared scallops with Creamy Spring Ramps
generously serves 2 as a main course

2 bunches ramps (about 20 ramps total), cleaned and trimmed
3 T butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
pinch of salt

8-10 dry packed sea scallops
1/4 cup white whole wheat flour
1 tsp kosher or sea salt
2 T rendered bacon fat
2 T chopped fresh tarragon

Chop the green leaves from the ramps at the place where the red stem meets the green leaf.  Then, chop the bulb from each stem.  Chop the bulbs lengthwise into long, thin slices. Slice the stems into 1 inch pieces, and chop the leaves into 1/4 inch wide ribbons. Set the leaves, keeping them separate from bulbs and stems.

In a large saute pan, melt 3 T butter over medium heat. Add the chopped ramp bulbs and stems with a pinch of salt, tossing to coat the ramps with the butter.

While the ramps are sauteeing, mix the whole wheat flour with the salt on a plate or in a medium bowl and gently toss the scallops with the flour, shaking off the excess. Set aside.

When the ramp bulbs are tender, add the green leaves along with the heavy cream. Stir to combine. Reduce heat to medium low and allow the mixture to simmer slowly while you sear the scallops.

In another large frying pan, melt the bacon fat over medium high heat.  When the fat is melted and very hot, add the scallops, one by one, being sure not to crowd the pan.  Allow the scallops to brown on one side (3 minutes or so) before turning and cooking for another 3 minutes or so (depending on the size of your scallops).

By the time the scallops are golden brown and cooked through, the ramp leaves should be wilted and tender and the heavy cream slightly reduced.  If not, pull the scallops off the heat and remove to a covered warmed plate to rest for a few moments while you raise the heat and stir the ramps gently until wilted.

To serve, spoon ramps onto warmed plates, top with seared scallops, and sprinkle with chopped tarragon.

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1 comment:

Monet said...

I adore scallops, and this recipe looks fresh and absolutely delicious. Thank you for sharing!