Scallops with Lentils
I clipped this recipe from Bon Appetit, back in 2006, and have had it on my list of things to try ever since.
Scallops are so easy to cook well at home. And lentils can be unexpectedly luscious. So, it seemed like these two could be a good fit.
But I could never find the French lentils around here. They are so much better than the common lentils. I used to get them at Whole Foods when I was in NYC. Then, I discovered Wegman's had canned Italian lentils. What to look for is Lentilles du Puy. They are a very good alternative.
Twice I have tested this recipe and last Friday night I served it to guests. Most of it can be made ahead, a big plus for entertaining. And for this particular night, we weren't sure what time our guests from out-of-town would be arriving.
Pan-Seared Scallops with Lentils, Bacon and Cider Reduction
from Deborah Snow of Blue Heron Restaurant, Sunderland, MA who was featured in Bon Appetit, 9/2006
For the marscapone cream:
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 T. chopped shallots
1/4 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup mascarpone cheese
1 t. grated lemon peel
1/2 t. chopped fresh chives
For the cider reduction:
2 cups apple cider
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup chopped shallots
For the lentils:
6 whole cloves
1 medium onion
6 cups water
1 1/2 cups French green lentils (12 ounces) or 2 cans of Lentilles du Puy
2 bay leaves
6 slices thick cut applewood smoked bacon, cut crosswise 1/4 inch thick
1/4 cup shallots
1 t. chopped fresh thyme
For the scallops:
18 scallops, patted dry
6 T. butter, divided (I omitted)
2 T. olive oil
Then, make the marscapone cream that will go into the lentils. In Bon Appetit recipe, they serve it as a sauce on the scallops, but I think it works better to add it to the lentils, to add flavor and creaminess. This can also be made ahead by one day.
To the lentils (which should be drained by now or dry), add the chopped bacon, shallots, and thyme. Stir in the marscapone cream. (Sorry, I forgot to take a picture of this step.) Your lentils are now ready. You can make ahead by a couple of hours.
Place a bed of lentils on the plate and then put the scallops on top, and spoon over the cider reduction.