seared scallops with an olive oil, thyme and honey vinaigrette with a hint of citrus
Chef Bob Waggoner taught me how to sear scallops when I first moved to Charleston, SC. A screaming hot pan and very good scallops are two keys to success. Dry packed scallops are ideal for searing because other types of scallops are often treated with a water-based solution, inhibiting a golden sear. I developed my own techniques and variety of ways to incorporate scallops into my dinner party menus. Olinda olive oil and Apis Mercantile honey play well together (as you can tell from other recipes!) and are staples at my parties. The dynamic duo of olive oil and honey make a return in this recipe: seared scallops with an olive oil, thyme and honey vinaigrette with a hint of citrus. My friend Garett started Ghost Grow 843 and grows onion microgreens. They are gorgeous and are a fitting companion to the scallops.
12 dry packed scallops, tough ligament removed from the side, throughly patted dry
Canola oil, for searing
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
1.5 tablespoons honey
Juice and rind of 1/2 an orange, plus some zest to garnish
2 tablespoons olive oil
3-4 sprigs thyme
Microgreens, to garnish (optional)
Flaky sea salt, to garnish (optional)
Remove the scallops from the refrigerator. Allow to come to room temperature.
In a large non-stick skillet, over high heat, add canola oil and heat until the oil starts to shimmer. Carefully add the scallops to the skillet in a clockwise rotation, so that you can remember what one went in first. Sear until browned on both sides (do not flip until the scalp "grabs" the pan and had a dark brown crust) and just opaque in the center, about 2 to 3 minutes per side, depending on the size. Season both sides with salt and pepper after cooking. Remove to a plate lined with a paper towel.
Put the honey in a small saucepan on low heat and cook until it has the color and consistency of caramel. Then pour the orange juice and remove from heat. Add orange rind, thyme and olive oil. Whisk until the oil is throughly combined. Season with salt and pepper.
Dress the seared scallops on plates and drizzle with the honey vinaigrette dressing. Garnish with flaky sea salt and microgreens, if you desire.