Scallops with Caramelized Fig, Benton’s Bacon, and Fava Beans
Yields 4 servings
From Tom Cook of Prime 108 at the Union Station Hotel, Nashville, Tennessee
4 slices Benton’s smoked bacon
8 black mission figs
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
12 large scallops
1 medium shallot, minced
½ stick of unsalted butter, cold and cut in ½-inch cubes, divided
Juice of 1 lemon
½ cup off-dry white wine (such as Chenin Blanc)
2 tablespoons chiffonade of fresh sage
1 cup fava beans, peeled and blanched
¼ cup watercress
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a cast-iron skillet, cook bacon to desired crispiness and drain on paper towels. Reserve bacon grease. Once bacon is cool enough to handle, finely julienne.
Season figs with salt and pepper and drizzle with oil and vinegar. Roast in oven for 8 to 10 minutes. Set aside.
Pat scallops dry and season with salt and pepper. Heat cast-iron skillet to medium heat, add some leftover bacon grease, then add scallops. Increase heat to medium high. Sear scallops on both sides without moving, 3 minutes per side.
Once scallops are caramelized, set aside. Drain excess oil from skillet and reduce heat to medium, then add minced shallot and half of the butter cubes. As the butter begins to brown, deglaze the pan with lemon juice and white wine. Add sage and remaining butter, then whisk in remaining cold butter to emulsify the sauce. Set aside.
Assemble plates with roasted figs, fava beans, julienned bacon, and watercress in the center of each. Top with three seared scallops and drizzle with brown butter sauce.