Seared Scallops with Cauliflower Soup & Lemon

“The richness of the Reserve Chard needed a rich soup, but also would benefit from the natural sweetness of something like scallops. Add in the lemony oil (an idea I thought of from the lemon olive oil we made last year) and you really have a perfect match.”

– Harry Wetzel IV, AVV Owner & Head of Operations

– Serves: 4 main courses (3 scallops/dish), or 12 first courses (1 scallop/dish) –

12 sea scallops
3 Tbs. vegetable oil
1 medium white onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, sliced
1 large head of cauliflower, cored & cut into pieces
1 ½ cups chicken stock
1 ½ cups heavy cream
1 Tbs. lemon juice
1 Tbs. chopped chives
½ oz. caviar (optional)
salt & white pepper, to taste
olive oil or grapeseed oil infused with lemon

Soup:
Heat 2 Tbs. of the vegetable oil in a medium sauce pan over medium-low heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté, stirring occasionally until translucent, around 8 minutes, do not let brown. Add the cauliflower, broth and cream and bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer, partially covered, for around 18 minutes, or until cauliflower is softened. Season to taste with salt and white pepper. Transfer to a blender and puree the soup in batches. Return to pot and adjust seasoning if needed (this can be done 24 hours in advance, just chill and reheat when needed).

Scallops:
Remove scallops from packaging and pat dry. Season scallops on both sides with salt and pepper. In a medium pan heat remaining vegetable oil over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the scallops (in batches if necessary, don’t overcrowd the pan), and sear on each side until browned, approximately 3-4 minutes for each side.

Add lemon juice (not lemon oil) to the soup and stir to incorporate. Place a small amount of soup in a bowl and add 3 scallops (if for a main course, one if for first course). Drizzle the soup with the oil, top each scallop with a ¼ tsp. of caviar (if desired) and sprinkle with the chopped chives.

Enjoy with a glass of the 2015 Alexander School Reserve Chardonnay