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Seared scallops with ramp pesto, charred broccolini and asparagus over polenta (credit: Felicia LaLomia).

Farm Stand to Table is a monthly recipe that features the seasonal bounty of North Fork farm stands. 

There’s something about scallops that scares the home cook, myself included. The delicate flesh and higher price tag intimidate, so it seems safer to order them out at restaurants for fear of messing it up at home. But it’s really all about timing (one minute per side!), a hot pan and some confidence.

Ramps tend to have the same reputation. Their season is short, they grow wild and they are one of those ingredients chefs go wild for and do it up big for a special. So why learn how to cook with them at home when a restaurant could do it for you? But just like scallops, a little confidence will bring lots of flavor. On it’s own, a ramp looks like a scallion, but tastes much more like garlic. For this dish, I blended it into a pesto, adding some acidity to mellow that flavor a bit, but still allow the vibrancy to come through.

Seared scallops with ramp pesto, charred broccolini and asparagus over polenta (credit: Felicia LaLomia).

The base is a simple polenta, cooked in the oven to keep things easy. That gives plenty of time to fire up the grill, charring the veggies and bringing a smokiness to the scallops that only the zingy ramp pesto can cut through. In just about an hour, you’ll have a fancy restaurant style dish you cooked right at home.

I found the ramps and asparagus at Country View Farm Stand, and the scallops are from Southold Fish Market.

Seared scallops with ramp pesto, charred broccolini and asparagus over polenta

Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Serves 2



  • 2 cups stock of choice (chicken, veggie, bone)
  • 1/2 cup corn meal/polenta
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter

Ramp pesto

  • 1 small bunch ramps washed with ends removed
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • small handful almonds
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese shredded
  • salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 juice from lemon


  • 6 sea scallops
  • 1/2 bunch broccolini 1 inch ends cut off
  • 1/2 bunch asparagus 3 inches ends cut off
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 2 tbsp avocado oil
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine


Make the polenta.

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine stock, corn meal and salt in a 2 quart baking dish. Bake for 50 minutes before stirring, adding the butter and baking for an additional 10 minutes.

Make the pesto.

  • In a blender, combine the ramps, olive oil, almonds, cheese, salt, pepper, lemon juice and blend until combined. Taste for seasonings and adjust. Set aside.

It's grill time.

  • Prep the scallops by removing them from the refrigerator 15 minutes before cooking.
  • Cover vegetables in olive oil, salt and pepper. Grill over medium high heat until charred and soft, about 15 minutes. Move to cooler section of the grill.
  • While veggies are grilling, place a stainless steel pan on the grill with 2 tablespoons of avocado oil. Wait about five minutes for the pan to get really hot before seasoning the scallops with salt. Gently place in the hot pan and cook for one minute before flipping. Add butter and garlic cloves and baste for another minute. Immediately remove the scallops, leaving behind the butter. Add a splash of dry white wine to deglaze. Cook for one to two minutes, scraping up the brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Reserve for later.


  • In a serving dish, spread the polenta around making swirls with a spoon. Layer on the charred broccolini and asparagus and pour on the butter-wine sauce on top. Finish by placing the scallops around the plate. drizzle with the ramp pesto, adding a bit more oil if its too thick. Enjoy.
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