Seared Scallops with Sunchokes

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Looking for something light to start off the new year? This pan-seared scallop recipe from Jody Adams fits the bill. She takes hers up a notch by adding sunchokes (aka Jerusalem artichokes) two ways: pureed and fried up into crispy chips. The under-appreciated root vegetable is more potato-like than artichoke-ish (despite its name), so it’ll satisfy your starchy cravings while a seven-herb salad balances out the meal with plenty of freshness and greenery.


for the sunchoke puree
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced leek, white only
  • kosher salt and pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups peeled and thinly sliced Jerusalem artichokes
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
for the seven herb salad
  • 1 tablespoon minced chives
  • 2 tablespoons parsley leaves
  • 2 tablespoons chervil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons mint leaves
  • 2 tablespoons celery leaves
  • 1 tablespoon basil
  • 1 teaspoon tarragon leaves
  • 1 cup water cress leaves
  • Supremes of 1/2 Meyer lemon cut into dice
for the Jerusalem artichoke chips
  • 1/4 pound Jerusalem artichokes
  • 2 cups vegetable frying oil
  • Kosher salt
for the scallops
  • 1 pound dry sea scallops, 1 to 1 ½ inches across, tough muscles removed
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground white pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil


for the sunchoke puree
  1. Melt the butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the leeks, season with salt and pepper, cover with parchment and cook 5 minutes, or until tender.
  2. Add the Jerusalem artichokes and cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the cream, cover again with parchment and cook 10 minutes, or until the artichokes are tender.
  4. Puree in a blender with the lemon juice until very smooth. Adjust seasonings.
for the seven herb salad
  1. Mix everything together and dress with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, a and some sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
for the Jerusalem artichoke chips
  1. Heat the oil in a deep sided pot to 300°F.
  2. Scrub the artichokes and slice paper thin on a mandolin.
  3. Add the artichoke slices and cook 4 to 5 minutes or until golden brown and crisp, stirring occasionally. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
  4. Sprinkle with salt when cool.
for the scallops
  1. Season the scallops with salt and white pepper. Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over high heat.
  2. When the oil is very hot, almost at the smoking point, add the scallops in a single layer, with at least ½ inch of space between them, and allow them to cook, undisturbed, until golden brown on the first side, 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Flip and cook the second side. They should still be slightly translucent in the center.
  4. Put a spoonful of sunchoke puree in the center of each of 4 plates. Set the scallops on top. Top with herb salad. Garnish with sunchoke chips and shaved truffles.

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