Diver’s Scallops with Sauteed Kale and Butter Bean Puree

Diver's Scallops with Sauteed Kale and Butter Bean Puree

This is really upscale simple with the down home comfort of Southern Cooking.

This whole dinner comes together really fast. I used canned butter beans in mine, but here in Ohio the butter beans from the Amish Farms just aren’t quite ready.
But that hasn’t stopped me from bending an ear to my food friends in the south, who are awash in butter beans right now.

But for quick cooking, the can is alright! And you don’t have to tell….and of course your friends and guests will not be able to tell.

I use divers scallops in these, which are the big ones, baby. You may have heard it said to smell your scallops before buying. I will be the first to admit I would *never* ask to put my nose in someone’s shellfish. But that doesn’t mean that out in the parking lot I won’t. And I am not afraid to return something with righteous indignance.

Good scallops have a very nice sweet smell to them.

Bad scallops smell exactly like a bad hair perm. They smell *so bad* in fact, that having smelled them, you might not be able to bring yourself near another scallop out of sheer trepidation and horror. My mother was like that. Which is sad really, because scallops are delicious, and smell intoxicatingly wonderful when cooking.

The scallops in the dish are simply prepared, and served atop a dual-bed of pureed butter beans and sauteed kale. I’ll tell you more as we go along.

First, can I mention that I got some new lights in the mail today? I bought a pair of LowelEgo Digital Imaging Lights. I turned them on and WHOA!

You have got to understand. Batman might be tres cool. But living in the bat cave is *not*. My kitchen has no window. It is very shady outside as well. All my pictures are pretty much like the other ones I have tried to work with. Underexposed. Blurred and blah- I also am still working with a point and shoot (that’s “p.o.s.” for those of you good with acronyms, ha ha). I hope you like the photo in this recipe. I also bought a new table to use for staging the plates and you will see that later after I got time to move things around, like 50k cookbooks in my possession (did I ever say I moonlight as an independent bookseller on eBay?) I won’t plug it here. I don’t have anything listed right now anyway (too busy blogging and figuring out these photos!) But you could say I started selling to enable my *pack a day* cookbook habit. First I use them, then I lose them. *grin*. Anyhoo, on the picture, it is not as good as it will be when I get another camera, so bear with me on that.

The food is good. I promise!

Butter Bean Puree | Ingredients

  • 16 oz. can butter beans
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1 clove garlic (2 if they are small, but you vampires know how much garlic you can tolerate before spontaneous combustion occurs)

Sauteed Kale | Ingredients

  • 1 small bunch organic Lacinato kale
  • 1/2 medium onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1-2 tbsp. bacon grease or olive oil (I remain unapologetic about the BG)
  • salt and pepper to your tastes

Scallops | Ingredients

  • 6 divers scallops
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp. bacon grease or olive oil (and yes, it’s *grease* not drippings)
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter

Garnishes | Ingredients

  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 2-3 tbsp. toasted pine nuts

METHOD | Butter Bean Puree

  1.  Drain liquid from can of butter beans, reserving a couple tablespoons.
  2. Place 2 tbsp. of bean liquid in a food processor and add garlic and lemon juice; run until you don’t hear the garlic anymore.
  3.  Add the drained beans and puree.
  4.  At this point set them aside until you need to warm them.

METHOD | Sauteed Kale

  1. Rinse the kale really well, then rinse it again. It may have mud on it or other unwanted debris.
  2. Cut all the stems away and reserve the leafy part.
  3. Stack the leaves and shred with a utility knife.
  4. Heat the bacon grease in a large nonstick skillet and saute the onion until it just starts to caramelize, then add the garlic.
  5.  Add the shredded kale and top with a lid and heat until it just wilts.
  6.  Season with salt and pepper and add the vegetable broth; simmer, covered, over low heat until the kale gets tender, adding a little more liquid if yours all evaporates.

METHOD | Scallops

  1. Rinse scallops and drain (to make sure there are no bits of unpleasant shell) and remove the adductor muscle, which is a thin strip on the side like a zipper. It pulls right off. Pat the scallops dry and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat bacon grease in a large stainless skillet until it just starts to smoke.
  3. Add the scallops to the pan then reduce heat to medium and cook about 2-3 minutes on each side until they naturally release (don’t move them around while they cook).
  4. Turn them over and add the butter to the pan and finish cooking (they should feel just about like a medium steak feels when you touch it- like touching your thumb to your ring finger and how your thumb muscle feels).
  5. Heat the bean puree (you can do this on the stove top or the microwave).
  6. Spread beans across the plate and top with a bit of kale, then the divers scallops.
  7. Garnish with lemon zest and a sprinkling of toasted pine nuts).

This recipe serves two with a generous portion of kale which is quite healthy.

In all, it should cook in less than 30 minutes. Your prep time may be extra.

You might also like:

Easy Lemon Parmesan Baked Salmon

Manhattan Clam Chowder

Lemongrass Grilled Shrimp

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I am choosing this particular recipe to add to the Foodie Friends Friday “30 Minute Meals” recipe roundup, in part because it is so very fast and easy to make, and also because it is so very very healthy. Also, divers scallops are in season right now, so recipes for that type of shellfish have a lot of relevance to our January tables.




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