Seared Sea Scallops With Roasted Garlic Polenta, Prosciutto and Olives

Sue Schickler, executive chef of the luxurious Pitcher Inn in Warren, shares her recipe for Seared Sea Scallops With Roasted Garlic Polenta, Prosciutto and Olives.
Photography By Brent Harrewyn | August 23, 2016

About this recipe

Earth and sea reunite joyfully in this one dish, with caramelized scallops and briny olives surrounding a soft mound of roasted garlic and red pepper polenta.  A paper thin slice of rosy prosciutto adds a finishing touch to this elegant meal. Pour a glass of crisp white wine and call it a day!

 

Preparation

Makes 4 servings

For the polenta

1 red bell pepper
1 head garlic
extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup slow cooking polenta
2 1/2 cups water
salt

Preheat oven to 350°. Rub the pepper with a little olive oil and place on small baking sheet. Cut the top off the head of garlic, drizzle with a little olive oil, wrap in foil and roast along with the pepper for about 35 minutes, turning the pepper occasionally, until the garlic is quite soft and the pepper is brown on all sides.  Place the pepper in a covered container to steam for 15 minutes or so, then when the pepper is cool enough to handle peel and remove the seeds. Cut the peeled pepper into small dice and set aside. Squeeze the roasted garlic out of the head and mash to a paste with a spoon or in a mini food processor.  Mix into the heavy cream and set aside.
Meanwhile, combine the polenta, water and salt to taste in a heavy based sauce pan, bring to a boil while stirring, then reduce the heat to a slow simmer and cook the polenta, stirring occasionally until fully cooked, about 40 minutes. Stir in the roasted garlic cream, butter and roasted pepper and season to taste.

For the olives

2 tablespoons sliced black olives, such as Kalamata or alfonso
1/4 cup fruity olive oil
finely minced zest of 1/2 a lemon
1 small garlic clove, finely minced
1 tablespoon minced parsley

Combine all in a small bowl and set aside.

For the scallops

16 large sea scallops
clarified butter or olive oil for searing the scallops
salt
1/2 lemon

Heat a sauté pan or cast iron skillet over medium high heat.  When hot coat the pan with a little oil, season the scallops with salt and sear the scallops on one side for about a minute, until nicely browned. Turn the scallops over and sear the second side until browned and the scallops are not quite cooked through, about a minute or less. Remove from the heat and squeeze a little lemon juice over the scallops.

To serve

4 paper thin slices prosciutto

Spoon polenta in the center of 4 flat bowls or plates and arrange 4 scallops on each plate around the polenta.  Drizzle a little olive dressing around the plate and drape a slice of prosciutto across the polenta.

 

 

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