This topping is a deconstructed version of the classic “Romesco” Sauce with a dice of toasted bread added and tossed lightly with the other ingredients. Everything can be prepped in advance for this dish, but it is best if you keep the bread separate from the other “Romesco” ingredients (which can be mixed together and held at room temperature) and then toss and place over the scallops at the last minute.
4 each large sea scallops in their shell (or 8 to 10 ounces sea scallops)
For the “Romesco” topping
2 cups French or Italian bread cut into small (1/4 dice) – about 1/2 baguette
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup Filippo Berio olive oil
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
1 large red bell pepper, roasted, peeled and cut into small (1/4 inch) dice
8 fresh chives, finely chopped (1 heaping tablespoon)
6 sprigs Italian parsley, leaves coarsely chopped (2 heaping tablespoons)
Kosher or sea salt, to taste (about 1/2 teaspoon)
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Clean the scallops, leaving the roe attached. Slice in half horizontally and place back into the 1/2 shell.
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Place the bread on a sheet pan and toast until golden brown – about 10 minutes. At the same time place the slivered almonds on a different pan and toast them until they are lightly colored – about 8 minutes. After the almonds cool off, chop them very coarsely.
In a sauté pan, heat the olive oil and garlic together along with the crushed red pepper. As soon as the oil is hot and the garlic begins to sizzle, remove from the heat – do not allow to color. Let cool and the stir in the diced roast pepper.
In a mixing bowl, combine the bread, almonds, chives and parsley. Pour the oil mixture over and gently toss the mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Do not over mix: this is a loose mix, not a stuffing.
Divide the mix evenly over the scallops and place on a baking sheet. Bake at 375°F – for 10 to 12 minutes.
For a nice presentation – line a plate with rock salt and place the scallop on top. Sprigs of parsley and chives could be added.
This recipe is featured on show 2306 – Give Me Scallops!/Dammi Cappesante! Guest chef Jasper White created and presented this wonderful dish.
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