Brown Butter Scallops with Creamy Farro
Valentines day? Romantic dinner for two? Elegant evening with friends? Check and check. Any which way you slice it this Brown Butter scallop recipe will win you some extra culinary points with your loved ones. Browning the butter gives you a simple sauce for your scallops with a delicious nutty flavor which pairs perfectly with the nuttiness of the whole grain, Farro. If you haven’t tried Farro yet – you must. It’s an ancient grain that is full of protein and fiber that has a nice toothiness to it which I really like. A cross between risotto and rice? I’m making this up but that’s what comes to mind. I do know it’s very good for you so you can feel okay about the teeny bits of cream and cheese that make this dish extra luscious. I like that it’s hearty like pasta but healthier and more flavorful. And with just a touch of cream and Parmesan cheese you get the effect of a great risotto but with more protein.
So let’s talk about those scallops. If you are a scallop lover this simple dish is perfect for you! Scallops are tender and decadent and special enough for any celebration or special occasion. The key to making the perfect scallop is to buy fresh, fresh, fresh. Then rinse and pat them very dry before cooking. Season well. And get that pan screaming hot. That’s why I use canola oil instead of olive oil – it can handle the higher heat without smoking. Also the canola oil has a neutral flavor and we are adding flavor in with the brown butter. The other important cooking tip for scallops is don’t move them around! Let it form the crust and flip only once. The second side will not take as long as the first. You want tender…just barely cooked through scallops.
I love this dish because it comes together in about 30 minutes but tastes like a complete gourmet dinner. Scallops, creamy Farro, butter, lemon….what could be better? Parmesan cheese also has an underlying nutty factor to it so at the risk of sounding well…nutty….I think you can see a trend here.
I pulled this dish together in a matter of minutes. Here’s how it goes:
Salted water and garlic coming to a boil
Plate with the creamy Farro, scallops on top, spoon a good amount of the butter over the scallops and garnish with chives (or rosemary) and lemon slices. Serve right away.
- 1 cup Farro (look in the bulk bins at the grocery store)
- 2 cups water
- 1 whole clove garlic
- 2 Tablespoons Heavy Cream
- ¼ Parmesan Reggiano, freshly grated
- 8 -10 large sea scallops (fresh)
- 4 Tablespoons butter, unsalted
- 1 Tablespoon Canola Oil
- Salt and Pepper
- Lemon slices
- Chopped chives or rosemary sprigs (for garnish)
- Rinse the Farro and drain and set aside. Bring the 2 cups of water to boil in a medium pot and add a good teaspoon of salt. Add in the garlic clove and then the Farro and reduce to a low simmer, cover. Cook until Farro is al dente (like pasta) still a bit chewy and not all the way cooked through. Should take about 25-30 minutes. Remove garlic clove.
- Add in the heavy cream, grated parmesan and stir to combine. Set aside.
- In a small, heavy pan melt the ½ stick of butter over low heat until butter turns a deep amber color then immediately remove from the heat and place in another dish and set aside.
- Rinse and pat dry the scallops. In a medium pan or cast iron skillet set over medium high heat add the canola oil. Season both sides of the scallops with salt and pepper and then cook 3-4 minutes on the first side. Do not move them or flip early. Two key steps to getting the nice crust is letting the pan completely heat up ahead and not flipping the scallops too early. Cook for 2 minutes on the second side or until still opaque in the center but crusty on the outside. Overcooking will yield a chewy scallop. Remove from pan immediately.
- Place the creamy Farro on each plate, the cooked scallops on top and drizzle with the brown butter. Top with fresh lemon slices and fresh herbs for garnish. Serve right away