- 2 to 3 small purple top turnips, peeled & sliced into ½ inch thick rounds
- 2 Heirloom Apples (good choices are lady, hudsons golden gem, pomme gris, or Baldwin)
- 3 King Richard or other small leeks
- 5 Tablespoons raw cider vinegar (with the mother)
- 2 teaspoons whole grain Dijon mustard
- 7 Tablespoons peanut oil (or non-gmo sunflower oil pressed in NH available at winter market!)
- 8 sprigs parsley
- ¾ pound to 1 pound large, u10 size, dry sea scallops, approximately 4 to 5 per person (don’t forget to buy from your local seafood market!)
- 2 teaspoons unsalted butter
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper (reserved)
- 2 sprigs fresh lemon thyme
About this recipe
And, you can eat light, leaving room for evening fun. This dish goes well with a good session beer, IPA, white wine, or dry hard cider. Brachetto di Aqui, or a sparkling rose would also be perfect. Of course, champagne is never a bad idea.
The vegetables in this dish are meant to be easily found at your local farmer’s market; although your local grocery store will carry them, too.
Planning tip: be sure to have turnips roasting and vinaigrette made ahead of cooking scallops so you can enjoy everything easily, when it’s hot! You can do the turnips, leeks, and vinaigrette all during the same time. You can also do the vinaigrette a day or two ahead.
For the roasted turnips
Brush all sides of the turnips in melted butter. Roast on sheet pan for 12 minutes at 450 degrees Fahrenheit, until dark golden brown and caramelized.
For the apple & leek vinaigrette
Cut off any dark green tops of the leek, leaving the light green stalks. Split a few baby leeks down the middle (King Richard leeks, usually available at the winter farmers’ market work best) and run under cold water to remove any sand or dirt.
Toss leeks in a touch of olive oil and season with salt. Roast leeks in a 450 degree oven uncovered until brown and soft (approx. 10-12 minutes.) Let cool and chop to desired size.
Whisk vinegar, mustard, and salt together in a small bowl. Gradually add oil, whisking constantly, until vinaigrette is smooth and creamy.
Dice some heirloom apples (available at local farms, including Applecrest) to a ¼ inch or whatever size you prefer. Add to the vinaigrette along with the chopped leeks.
For the scallops
Remove the small muscle from the scallops & pat dry.
Add the butter and oil to a saute pan on high heat. Once the oil begins to gently smoke, add ½ of the scallops to the pan, making sure the pan is not overcrowded.
Sear the scallops for 1 1/2 minutes on each side until the scallops have a nice golden crust. Add half of the fresh thyme sprigs to pan while searing the second side with a touch more butter, re-coating the scallops. Discard thyme and wipe out the pan with a paper towel.
Add the other ½ of oil and butter. Repeat with the second batch of scallops. Once cooked, remove scallops from the pan and discard thyme.
Add another teaspoon of butter and quickly cook spinach for about 30 seconds stirring until slightly wilted. Remove from pan immediately and place on a paper towel. Season spinach and scallops lightly with grey salt and fresh cracked pepper.
Arrange on the plate however you would like. I recommend placing the turnips down as a bed, then top with the scallops and perhaps some sliced raw radishes. Drizzle the vinaigrette around plate making sure that lots of leeks and apple are visible. Finish with the spinach and serve immediately.