Diver Sea Scallops with Warm Organic Farro Salad and Bacon

"Scallops have always been a top seller at Rat’s and actually everywhere I have worked," says Shane Cash, executive chef of Rat's in Hamilton. "We have access to wonderful Sea and bay scallops here in New Jersey. The scallops in the recipe are size U/10 which means there are 10 scallops to a unit, or pound. This same scale is used for measuring shrimp."

Scallops with organic farro salad.
Photos by Stuart Goldenberg.

"It is important when buying scallops to ask for dry-packed if available," Cash continues. "Dry-packed scallops will allow a better sear and will not shrink much while cooking. They will also caramelize better because they are not rendering out a lot of water. Sometimes seafood purveyors will soak scallops in a preserving brine to prolong their shelf life and plump them up.”

 For 4 portions

16 each – U/10 dry-packed sea scallops
2 oz – olive oil
2 cups – farro salad – See Recipe Below
½ cup – small-diced raw bacon
1 tbsp – minced shallots
1 cup – baby arugula
12 each – orange segments
½ cup – small diced cooked potatoes
2 oz – chicken broth
½ cup – banyules lacquer – See Recipe Below
Salt and pepper – to taste
For the farro salad
1 cup – uncooked farro
1 – minced shallot
6 sprigs – fresh chopped thyme (remove stems)
1 clove – chopped garlic
2 tbsp – extra virgin olive oil
2 cups – chicken broth
Salt and pepper – to taste
Saute the shallots, garlic, and thyme with oil. Add the farro and chicken broth and simmer slowly until tender and broth is absorbed. Season and spread out on a sheet pan. Set aside.
For the banyules lacquer
½ cup  – banyules or sherry vinegar
½ tspn – paprika
1 oz – honey
2 oz –light corn syrup
Reduce the vinegar by 60 percent and add the honey and the corn syrup. Continue to reduce slowly for 10 minutes. Whisk in the paprika. Let cool.
Method for the dish
—Season the scallops with salt and pepper. In a hot sauté pan, sear the scallops on both sides with 1 oz. of  olive oil. Finish in the oven at 350 degrees for 4 to 5 minutes.

—For the farro salad, heat another sauté pan and add 1 oz. olive oil. Add the bacon and render till golden brown. Add the potatoes and shallots and continue to sauté for 1 minute. Add the cooked farro and the chicken broth. Fold in the arugula to the warm farro salad and set aside. With a pastry brush, spread a line of banyules lacquer across the center of each plate. Place the warm faro salad in a line across the lacquer. Place four scallops on top of faro salad on each plate. Garnish the plates with 3 orange segments for each plate.

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