Scallops with Bacon, Apples And Spinach

Photo: Lori Skelton

Courtesy of Lori Skelton

(serves 4 as an appetizer, 2 as a main course)


Stay informed on the latest news

Sign up for WPR’s email newsletter.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

4 C. unfiltered apple cider

4 strips bacon, cut crossways into ¼-½ inch slices

1 T. butter

2 large shallots, minced

1 medium crisp-sweet apple (Jazz, Honeycrisp, Jonagold, Golden Delicious, Pink Lady), peeled and diced

8 oz. spinach leaves, chopped if large

1 T. cider vinegar

salt and pepper

12 dry-pack diver scallops, muscle removed, if needed
1 T. butter or light olive oil

Bring cider to boil in heavy saucepan, reduce heat slightly, and let reduce at a gentle boil until you achieve the consistency you want. For a drizzling sauce, that may be 30-40 minutes, but you can reduce the heat a bit more, let it simmer longer, and get something closer to syrup (This is an old Odessa Piper/L’Etoile technique; the syrup is amazing on pancakes or maple ice cream.). The cider can be reduced well ahead of serving the scallops; cool and keep refrigerated in a tightly covered jar. Before serving, warm in microwave.

Heat deep skillet over medium heat and add bacon. Cook until crispy (how crispy is up to you, but I wouldn’t go brittle), remove with slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. To the bacon fat in the skillet, add butter and when melted, add shallots. Turn down the heat slightly and cook until soft, 2-3 minutes. Add apples and cook until beginning to soften, 3-5 minutes. Add spinach and vinegar, stir to combine, then over and steam until wilted, but still bright green. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Season scallops with salt and pepper on both sides. While spinach is steaming, heat sauté pan over medium-high heat until hot, about 1 minute. Add half the butter or oil; swirl to coat bottom. Continue to heat pan until butter begins to turn golden brown. Add half the scallops, one at a time, flat side down; cook, adjusting heat as necessary to prevent fat from burning, until scallops are well browned, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Using tongs, turn scallops, one at a time; cook until medium-rare (sides firmed up and all but middle third of scallop opaque), 30 seconds to 1 1/2 minutes longer, depending on size. Repeat cooking process using remaining half of butter or oil and scallops.

Divide spinach mixture between plates. Put scallops on top of spinach, drizzle with reduced cider. Serve immediately.

Optional: For an entrée, add chopped pecans after the cider has been drizzled and serve with a a nutty grain on the side, like quinoa, amaranth or faro.

Related Stories