There are so many vegetables that get overpowered so easily. Delicate in texture, flavor, or both, it can be challenging to let them stand up and sing. To me, fennel bulb is one of those things. Fragrant and formidable in its raw state gives way to a lightly flavored complexity with toothsome texture that is hard to pass up when it’s roasted.
I feel the same way about Scallops… which people often stare at with a weird look and a head scratch that gives way to wrapping in bacon and overcooking the living hell out of them. Do not give in to the temptation! This recipe is bacon free, and while we all LOVE bacon, this is not the time. Literally all other times though. I know.
Seared Scallops with Roasted Fennel and Pomegranate Reduction
Ingredients for the Sauce:
Seeds of one large pomegranate, mashed
1 cup balsamic vinegar
Several sprigs of rosemary and thyme
3-300 cloves of garlic (depending on your preference), mashed
1 cup white wine
1 cup stock of choice
Ingredients for the Dish:
2 large fennel bulbs
6 U-10 diver scallops
2 shallots, sliced 1/2 in. thick
avocado oil
salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp butter
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2. slice fennel bulb and shallots into 1/2 in strips
3. Toss with a little avocado oil, salt and pepper.
4. Roast until golden on a cookie sheet (silicon mat does wonders here) with crispy brown edges, about 50 minutes
5. Add all sauce ingredients to a pan and reduce on medium heat to one cup liquid. Strain out herbs and seeds. Set aside.
6. let a nonstick pan get hot. Add butter and seasoned scallops. Sear in brown butter one minute on each side. (Or use bacon fat, but I promised I wasn’t going there this time)
7. Assemble fennel. Top with 3 scallops. drizzle with pomegranate balsamic reduction.
Seriously one of my favorite dishes. Light, aromatic, flavor packed.