Monday, February 25, 2013

Seared Scallops over Celery Root “Farroto” with Green Beans and Toasted Almonds and Orange-Champagne Vinaigrette

Seared Scallops over Celery Root “Farroto” with Green Beans and Toasted Almonds and Orange-Champagne Vinaigrette
by Deanah Kim
The Wine Dive recommends Simply Naked Pinot Grigio to be paired with this dish.

Serves 2 to 3

½ shallot, finely minced
½ orange, zested and juiced
1 Tablespoon Champagne vinegar
1 Tablespoon honey
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 Tablespoona butter, separated
½ small onion, finely diced
½ cup farro
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ medium celery root (celeriac), peeled and cut into ½ inch dice (about 1 ½ cups)
½ cup dry white wine
2 cups low sodium chicken stock, more as needed
4 ounces fresh green beans, blanched and cut into ¾ inch pieces (about 1 cup)
¼ cup slivered almonds
2 Tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tablespoons parsley, finely chopped, more for garnish
Kosher salt and pepper, as needed
10 – 12 ounces dry-packed sea scallops

1) Make the vinaigrette: In a medium bowl, whisk together the shallot, orange zest and juice, vinegar, honey and olive oil until well combined. Set aside.

2) Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a 10-inch, straight-sided sauté pan or skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and sweat gently until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the farro and continue to sweat until the farro is lightly toasted, about 3 minutes.

3) Add the garlic and celery root; increase the heat to medium-high and pour in the white wine. Season with ½ tsp Kosher salt and pepper to taste. Stir and cook until most of the wine is absorbed and the pan is almost dry. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer until the farro and celery root are cooked through, about 18 to 20 minutes, stirring frequently.

4) Meanwhile, melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the almonds and toast, stirring frequently until browned, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from the pan and reserve in a small bowl; wipe out the skillet and set aside.

5) Add Parmesan to the celery root-farro mixture. Add the blanched green beans, the reserved toasted almonds, parsley and mix until well incorporated. Thin with additional chicken broth if the mixture appears dry; it should be wet and loose but not soupy. Check the seasoning and adjust with additional salt and pepper to taste. Hold warm over low heat on the stove.

6) Melt the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter in the wiped out 10-inch skillet over medium high heat. Liberally season the scallops with salt and pepper on both sides. When the pan is hot, and the butter begins to look golden, add the scallops to the pan and cook on one side, undisturbed, for about 1 ½ to 2 minutes. Using tongs, flip the scallops over to the second side and continue to cook for an additional 1 ½ to 2 minutes.

7) Divide the farrotto onto 2 or 3 plates. Place the seared scallops over the farrotto and drizzle the reserved vinaigrette over the dish. Sprinkle with additional chopped parsley, if desired.

This recipe was inspired by my love for seafood, passion for seasonal ingredients and healthful cooking.

· I absolutely LOVE seafood of every kind- from fin fish to mollusks and crustaceans, from raw to steamed, broiled, grilled or smoked, I could eat it for every meal. This recipe shows that scallops, generally perceived as a luxurious ingredient reserved for dining out on special occasions, are simple to cook successfully at home. And, its quick-cooking time makes it easy to turn a weeknight meal into something very special.

· Ingredients taste their absolute best when they are in their peak season. This is also when they offer the most flavor and nutritional value and when they are the most affordable. Currently, in this fearsome winter weather in Rochester, NY, there is nothing I find more comforting than a plate of savory and earthy celery roots.

· I firmly advocate that one should only eat foods that taste good; however eating delicious foods need not come at the expense of eating healthfully and providing one’s body with the nourishment it needs. Most importantly, it need not be DIET food. In this recipe, white rice is swapped out for farro, an ancient whole grain which provides a nutritional advantage as well as a delectable chewy texture. The addition of green beans further ups the healthful factor, while the toasted almonds provide healthy fats and crunch. The use of butter complements the sweetness of the naturally lean scallops and enriches the entire dish.

This recipe is perfect for shoppers who, even in the midst of very busy lives, place a high value on eating foods that offer flavor combinations of restaurant quality without the price tag, that are made from fresh and seasonal ingredients, that come together with minimal effort in the kitchen and encourage sitting down together and connecting with family members at meal times.

I think shoppers are looking to try new foods with exciting ingredients, but want familiar and accessible presentations. This dish presents novel seasonal ingredients in an appealing way, looks healthy and clean, and has a wonderfully delicate and slightly nutty aroma from the celery root. Shoppers are also savvier now about seeking ingredients that offer more nutritional “bang for the buck,” such as the whole grain farro in this recipe. Lastly, I think shoppers are drawn to dishes that come together with minimal effort in the kitchen so that the time saved can be enjoyed in sharing the meal with loved ones.

After struggling with an eating disorder for 11 years of my adult life, living with restriction and deprivation, I have been in recovery for the past 10 months. During my recovery I have struggled to find dishes that are both nutritional and satisfying, comfort dishes that I can be comfortable with. Creating and cooking recipes like this that use wholesome, fresh and seasonal ingredients helps me to feel nourished rather than deprived in both body and soul. Recipes like this have helped me learn how to eat more intuitively and in my road to recovery. I wanted to take this opportunity to share this recipe and communicate that inspiring, healthful, and nourishing meals can be had at home without spending lots of money and too much time in the kitchen.

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