This pan-seared scallops with butter bean mash and asparagus recipe from Matt and Ted Lee, authors of Simple Fresh Southern (R348, Kalahari), is surprising and impressive, like you. And beautiful and tasty, like her.
1. Scour the Market
Scallops are hard to find, but you should be able to hunt some down in the freezer section (try Woolies). Make sure you take them out the night before so they properly defrost – otherwise you’ll be eating mash and veg for dinner, tres unsexy. Before you sear them in the pan, give them a thorough pat down with a paper towel otherwise they’ll steam, and not sear.
2. Upgrade your Mash
Anyone can mash potatoes, and they only taste good when fresh. Instead, go green with this make-ahead broad bean purée: toss beans into a blender or food processor and purée until silky. Before serving, brighten the purée with a splash of buttermilk and a handful of fresh mint.
3. Craft a Pan Sauce
Those browned bits left in the pan after you’ve seared the scallops are your base for a quick sauce. Add a splash of white wine and lime juice and simmer, scraping the pan, until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
- 280g butter beans, tinned
- 6 large scallops
- ½ tsp Maldon salt, plus more to taste
- ¼ tsp freshly ground pepper, plus more to taste
- 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 Tbsp dry white wine
- Grated zest and juice of ½ lime
- 2 Tbsp packed mint leaves
- ¼ cup buttermilk
- Steamed asparagus, for serving
1. Pat the scallops dry with paper towels and season them with salt and pepper. Add the butter to a large pan set over medium-high heat, and when it has melted, pour off half the butter into a small bowl; reserve. Return the frying pan to the heat; when the frothing of the butter has subsided, sear the scallops, 4 minutes for the first side and 3 minutes for the other.
2. Transfer the scallops to a plate and loosely tent it with foil to keep warm. Add the wine and lime juice to the pan, reduce the heat to low, and cook until the pan juices have reduced by half, about 4 minutes.
3. Drain the beans and transfer them to the bowl of a food processor. Add the mint, buttermilk and reserved melted butter, and pulse until the mixture is a smooth, thick purée. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Serve the scallops with the bean purée and asparagus, topped with pan sauce and lime zest.
There’s no one perfect way to match wine with a dish, but each pick can highlight different aspects a recipe. Higgo Jacobs, executive member of the South African Sommelier Asscociation, shares three strategies.
GO FOR A MATCH
Morgenhof Chenin Blanc 2012, Simonsberg, Stellenbosch, R90. “The sweet pear and stone fruit flavours match the scallops’ sweetness.”
GO FOR CONTRAST
Ashbourne Sauvignon Blanc / Chardonnay 2013, Walker Bay, R70. “The minerality and acidity of this white cuts through the buttery richness of the dish.”
GO FOR RED
Mount Abora Saffraan Cinsaut 2012, Swartland, R95. “This lightbodied red has restrained tannins that give structure to seafood.”