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 Tbsp. 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 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. chopped chives
½ oz. caviar (optional)
salt & white pepper, to taste
olive oil or grapeseed oil infused with lemon

Method of Preparation for Soup:
Heat 2 Tbsp. 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).

Method of Preparation for 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.