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.
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
- 2 cups stock of choice (chicken, veggie, bone)
- 1/2 cup corn meal/polenta
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 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
- 2 tbsp avocado oil
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/2 cup dry white wine