SEARED SCALLOPS WITH HUMMUS AND SHAVED FENNEL SALAD
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- 1 large bulb of fennel (with fronds), core removed and very thinly sliced with a mandolin 1/4 cup of fresh mint leaves, torn 1/4 cup of fresh cilantro leaves zest of half a lemon 2 tablespoons finely chopped chives, plus more for garnishing 2 tablespoons roughly chopped fennel fronds, plus more for garnishing 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice 1 tablespoon olive oil sea salt freshly ground black pepper 1.5 lbs jumbo sea scallops (*make sure that you buy 'dry-packed' scallops, check with your fish monger to be sure!) olive oil, for cooking and garnishing one (10-ounce) container of Sabra Classic Hummus
- Set aside a small ice water bath. Place the thinly shaved fennel into the ice bath (this trick helps keep the fennel extra crisp for serving). Set the fennel, and the remainder of the prepared salad ingredients aside as you sear the scallops.
- Remove the tough side muscle on each scallop (if present) and discard. Ensure the scallops are completely dry prior to searing, or they won't brown properly. Pat them dry with paper towels. Season the scallops on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat a large non-stick sautÃ© pan over medium-high heat. Add a tablespoon or so of olive oil to the pan. Once the oil is hot, add the scallops to the pan, setting them apart so they are not touching each other (depending on the size of your pan, you may need to do this in batches). Sear the scallops for 2 to 4 minutes on each side (adjust based on the size of your scallops) until they have roughly a 1/4-inch golden crust on each side and they are still lightly translucent in center. Set aside on a plate, and toss the fennel salad.
- Drain the shaved fennel from the ice bath and dry it thoroughly (using a salad spinner or blotting it gently with paper towels). Combine the shaved fennel with the fresh mint, cilantro leaves, lemon zest, chives, and fennel fronds in a medium mixing bowl. Add the olive oil and lemon juice, and toss gently. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Warm the hummus by placing it in the microwave for 15-20 seconds (be sure to remove the thin plastic covering before doing this). Alternatively, you can scrape the hummus into a small microwave-safe bowl, and microwave this way.
- Place about 2 to 3 tablespoons of hummus on each serving plate, and use the back of a large spoon to create a thin, even (elegant) layer or 'swoosh'. Top with seared scallops (3-4 per person, depending on size), and add a large spoonful of tossed fennel salad. Thinly drizzle with olive oil, garnish with finely chopped chives, fennel fronds, and some microplaned lemon zest. Serve immediately