PAN-SEARED SCALLOPS WITH CHAMPAGNE GRAPES AND ALMONDS
Despite their name, Champagne grapes aren’t used to make the sparkling wine. Legend has it that the grapes were so named because the tiny clusters of fruit resemble the bubbles in a glass of Champagne.
What to drink: A crisp, ripe white. Try: Icon 2004 Sauvignon Blanc, House of Nobilo, Marlborough, New Zealand ($20).
16 large sea scallops, side muscles removed
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 1/2 tablespoons minced shallots
2/3 cup Champagne grapes (about 4 ounces) or black grapes, halved
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
Sprinkle scallops with salt and pepper.
Melt 3 tablespoons butter in very large skillet over medium-high heat.
Cook butter until beginning to brown, about 2 minutes. Add scallops; cook 2 minutes per side. Transfer scallops to plate; tent with foil. Melt remaining butter in same skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallots and grapes; sautÃ© until shallots are golden, stirring occasionally, about 2 minutes. Stir in lemon juice and any accumulated scallop juices. Bring mixture to boil; season with salt and pepper. Stir in almonds and parsley.
Place 4 scallops on each of 4 plates. Spoon sauce over and serve.
Makes 4 first-course servings.