Caroline Testa

The City Kitchenette: Episode 1

Caroline Testa
The City Kitchenette: Episode 1

This was the test recipe for my first video blog shoot last spring. It’s a recipe that I have made so many times, with lots of variations. In the summer I make it with fresh corn, peas and cherry tomatoes. In the fall I make it with roasted squash, baby brussel sprouts and mushrooms. It doesn’t matter what time of year it is, people always love it. If you don’t want to use scallops, substitute shrimp or fried chicken for a more low-key dish.

Active Time: 45 minutes
Serves 3 as an appetizer

Ingredients

Succotash

1 lb fava beans, shelled (1cup)
1 lb English peas, shelled (1 cup)
1 lb asparagus – purple and green if possible
1 spring onion, diced
2 bulbs green garlic, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons butter
½ lb slab bacon, cut into ¼-inch x ¼-inch lardons
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon fresh tarragon, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
½ cup crème fraîche – I like Cowgirl Creamery

Wild arugula flowers for garnish

Scallops

Reserved bacon fat from succotash
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 large fresh sea scallops, rinsed, catch mussel removed and patted dry
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon Meyer lemon zest
1 tablespoon Meyer lemon juice

Preparation

Succotash

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the peeled fava beans and blanch for 2 to 3 minutes, or until just cooked through. Snap the bottoms off of the asparagus, and then slice them on an angle (bias) into 2-inch long pieces. If stalks are thick, cut the pieces in half lengthwise. Remove the fava beans form the water and cool them in an ice bath, then peel outer skins off.

Heat butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent, 4 to 6 minutes.

Add the bacon to a small sauté pan and cook until crispy and golden, 4 to 6 minutes. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel lined plate. Pour the bacon fat into another small sauté pan – reserved for the scallops.

Add the asparagus to the onion and garlic with ¼ cup water – the water will help to steam the asparagus. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, then add the English peas and cook for another minute. Add the bacon, herbs and crème fraîche and turn the heat off.

Scallops

Heat butter with the bacon fat on a small sauté pan over high heat. Sprinkle the dry scallops with salt and pepper on both sides. Sear the scallops for about 1 minute on each side. Add the lemon zest and lemon juice to the pan.

To Serve

Transfer the succotash to a serving platter. Place scallops on top and spoon some Meyer lemon pan sauce over the scallops. Garnish with wild arugula flowers.