Scallop Tandoori

Eric Ripert, executive chef of the 4-star Le Bernardin in New York City, is renowned for his expertise with seafood in all its forms. His recipes set the tone for restaurants everywhere, and here he gives lovely Maine diver scallops a gentle Indian treatment. Look for pickled mango and tandoori powder in the Asian section of good markets and specialty stores.

Wine recommendation: Le Bernardin Sommelier Michel Couvreux pairs this salad with white Graves, such as Château Villa Bel-Air 2002, noting that the Sauvignon Blanc-Sémillon blend is "extremely elegant, with a fresh nose, marked by citrus notes and exotic fruit. It also shows good, fat texture and roundness."

  • For the salad:
  • 1/4 cup Japanese rice vinegar
  • 1/2 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 English cucumber, peeled and quartered, then cut into 1 1/4 -inch slices
  • 2 tablespoons Indian pickled mango, pulp only
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup mixed baby greens
  • For the scallops:
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons tandoori powder, divided
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 12 large scallops, preferably Maine diver scallops
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon herbes de Provence

To make the salad: In a small skillet, heat the vinegar and sugar just until the sugar dissolves. Stir in the olive oil, then the cucumber until warmed through. Remove from heat and stir in mango and a pinch of salt. Cool, then stir in cilantro. Let cool, then drain off liquid and reserve while preparing the scallops.

To prepare the scallops: In a bowl, mix the olive oil, lemon juice, 1¼4 teaspoon of the tandoori powder, and pinches each of salt and pepper. Rub the top of each scallop with garlic, herbes de Provence and the remaining tandoori powder. Place the scallops in the oil mixture, turning them over to coat all sides, then remove from the oil but reserve the remaining oil. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Sear the scallops about 1 minute per side until golden. The scallops should be rare in the middle but not cold.

To serve, spoon a small amount of the cucumber salad onto each of 6 plates. Sprinkle the cucumbers with the greens and dribble with a little olive oil. Arrange the scallops next to the salad, then dribble with the reserved olive oil mixture.

Published on July 6, 2010
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Dylan Garret

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