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Recipes   /   Seared Scallops with Fava Bean Puree

Seared Scallops with Fava Bean Puree

Jan 19, 2015 by Gabriele Corcos


I have created this recipe a few years back when developing the menus for The Montauk Yacht Club in Long Island NY. It was my very first culinary consulting job for a hospitality establishment,  I wanted to feature dishes that could be interpreted as elegant (if people really wanted to) but that retained the essence of my peasant roots.

I do believe that simplicity is elegance. I never mix too many ingredients together and actually enjoy the thinking process that for me is the first step in cooking new recipes: I cook in my head, every step, from the ingredients list to the plating. Never, ever, I have gotten into the kitchen asking myself “What do I have in my pantry? What can I cook tonight?”. I like to focus on how the minimal use of flavors can create a palette of sensorial vibrance. A bite of food should deliver a message, tell a story, not lead you on a quest to understand its significance.

With this dish I was actually able to tell two stories at the same time. The fava bean, dear to any farmer in the inlands of Tuscany, meets the scallop from the coast. Two very distinct flavors and textures, two ingredients that during the right season can be sourced fresh on the same day. Neither the fava bean, nor the scallop are aggressive in flavor but rather a very distinct one that though hides wonderful surprises in its subtleness. A ladle of broth, a couple of tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, and well, yes, a tab of butter, to facilitate the marriage of flavors in this recipe that is at the same time elegant and well representative of Tuscan peasantry.


Serves: 4 / Prep time: 10 minutesCook time: 15 minutes

  • 4 pounds fava beans (in their pods)
  • 1 shallot, cut into large chunks
  • 1 carrot, cut into large chunks
  • 1 stalk celery, cut into large chunks
  • 1 medium Yukon gold potato
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 24 small sea scallops
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Small whole mint leaves, for garnish
  • Kosher salt and pepper to taste

1Remove beans from their pods.

2In a medium pot, bring 6 cups water to a boil and salt it. Add the fava beans and cook briefly (about 30 seconds – 1 minute) to loosen their skins. Drain with a spider and add to ice water to stop the cooking. Peel the skins from the fava beans.

3To the boiling water, add the shallot, celery, carrot, and potatoes. Season with some salt. Reduce to a low boil and cook for 30 minutes to flavor the broth.

4Remove the potato, peel it under running water, and cut it into chunks. Do not discard the broth.

5Add the beans to a food processor along with the carrots, celery, potato, and shallots. Soften all with a ladle of broth. Season with olive oil, salt and pepper to taste; blend until smooth, adding a little more broth if necessary. Add some extra virgin olive oil, to taste.

6Season the scallops lightly on both sides with salt and pepper. Melt a tab of butter and add olive oil to a non-stick pan, once foaming and hot, sear the scallops about 3 minutes on each side. Do not move the scallop while it is searing or it might break.

7Place a generous 2 tablespoons of fava bean puree in the center of a small plate, place 3 seared scallops on top and garnish with a few mint leaves.

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