Last week I received my Spring wine club shipment from Trefethen Family Vineyards, one of my very favorite wineries in Napa Valley. All of their wines come from vineyards on their huge estate in the Oak Knoll District, and I am continuously impressed with their delicious varietals and excellent service. I particularly love that they include suggested pairing recipes with their club member shipments, and I finally took the opportunity to use one this weekend when I hosted a new friend for dinner.
Seared Scallops with Herbed Citrus Salad (serves 2-3)
- 1 mandarin
- 1 grapefruit
- 1 Blood Orange
- 1 fennel bulb, shaved or sliced thinly with a mandolin
- 2 cups baby arugula
- 1 head frisée, green tips removed
- 2 TB flat-leaf parsley, chopped finely
- 2 TB chives, chopped finely
- 2 TB tarragon, chopped roughly
- 8 large scallops
- 1 tsp grapeseed oil
- 2 TB Champagne Vinegar
- 1 TB olive oil
- 1 TB grapeseed oil
- 1 TB honey
- salt and pepper, to taste
Whisk and honey and vinegar together. Once combined, whisk in both oils and season with salt and pepper. (Side note: this is a great vinaigrette for seafood salads! I used it again a couple days later over a salad of frisee, arugula, tarragon, mango, scallion, avocado and cilantro-citrus marinated grilled shrimp – YUM).
Supreme the citrus fruits. First slice off the top and the bottom of the citrus, then using a knife work your way around the fruit to remove all of the peel and pith. Hold the fruit on it’s side and carefully slice into wedges along the membrane walls. Continue until all of the fruit segments have been removed from each citrus. Place segments into a bowl and set aside.
In a medium nonstick skillet, heat 1 tsp grapeseed oil over a high flame. Salt and pepper the scallops and once the oil begins to smoke, gently add the scallops to the pan making sure that they are not touching each other. Sear the scallops for about 1 1/2 minutes on each side. They should have a 1/4-inch golden crust on each side while still being slightly translucent in the center.
In a large salad bowl combine the chopped herbs with the arugula, frisée and fennel and season with salt and pepper. Add citrus segments and dressing and toss to combine. Top with seared scallops and serve.
Naturally and as suggested, I served this wine with 2011 Trefethen Family Vineyards Chardonnay. The wine has tropical and floral notes in the nose, while apple, pear and lemon zest fill the palate. There is a well-balanced acidity with a slight stony mineral finish. The varying components of citrus, tarragon and honey in the salad perfectly complemented the flavors in the wine.
Kudos to Trefethen for suggesting this pairing, and I look forward to creating more culinary works to pair with their delicious wines!