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Seared Sea Scallops with a Garlic,
Tomato and Olive Compote



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“Scallops are expensive, so they should be treated with some class.
But then, I suppose that every creature that gives his life for our
table should be treated with class.”

~ Jeff Smith

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Scallops from Market on Rue Cler, Paris, France
Scallops from Market on Rue Cler, Paris, France
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Moos, Martin
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Seared Sea Scallops with a Garlic,
Tomato and Olive Compote

Bistro Cooking at Home
©  2003 by Gordon Hamersley
(2003, Broadway Books, a division of Random House)

“This full-flavored compote also works well with salmon, tuna, swordfish,
and even grilled chicken. Serve the scallops with some angel hair pasta
tossed with a little of the compote. When buying scallops, look for ones
that have not been chemically treated. Often called ‘dry’ scallops, they
brown better and have more flavor.”

10 garlic cloves, peeled and root ends
trimmed off, but cloves left whole
About 3/4 cup olive oil
Academia Barilla 100% Italian Unfiltered
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

1/2 cup black olives, such as Kalamata,
pitted and coarsely chopped
1 cup sun-dried tomatoes, soaked in warm water
until soft, drained, and coarsely chopped
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
24 large sea scallops (1 to 1 1.4 pounds),
side muscle removed
1 to 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

To make the compote
Put the garlic in a small saucepan. Add enough olive oil to cover the
cloves completely; the size of your pan will dictate how much oil you
need. Bring the olive oil to a simmer, turn the heat down to low, and
cook the garlic until it’s very tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Using a slotted
spoon, transfer the garlic to a bowl. Add 1/3 cup of the olive oil and
reserve the rest in case the compote needs more. (The garlic-infused
oil is also great on its own.) Let the garlic cool to room temperature.
Add the olives, sun-dried tomatoes, shallot, basil, and balsamic vinegar.
Mix the ingredients gently with a rubber spatula so as not to break up
the tender garlic. Season with salt, if necessary, and pepper. Allow the
flavors of the ingredients to blend for at least 15 minutes before serving.
(The compote will taste better if it has more time for the flavors to meld;
it will keep in the refrigerator for a few days; allow it to come to room temperature before serving.)

To cook the scallops
Pat the scallops dry and season them with salt and pepper. Heat the
vegetable oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat until very hot.
Add the scallops to the pan, leaving space between them. Cook without
moving them until well browned on one side, 2 to 3 minutes. With tongs,
turn each scallop over and cook for another minute. Remove the pan
from the heat and allow the scallops to continue to cook in the pan for another minute.

 To serve
Add additional olive oil to the compote if it seems dry. Spoon some
of the compote on each plate. Arrange the seared scallops on top and
sprinkle with parsley.

Wine suggestions: If it’s summer, I’d go for a really good rosé from
Provence or a Sancerre or a Chinon rosé from the Loire. Other good
options: a Tuscan Sauvignon Blanc or one from New Zealand,
specifically the Marlborough area.

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