(serves 8 as a starter, 4 as an entree)
- 8 strips thick-cut bacon
- 8 dry sea scallops (about 1½ pound sea scallops)
- 8 fresh rosemary sprigs (each 3 to 4 inches long)
- 3-4 tbs extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tbs prepared pesto
- 1 lemon, halved
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 400. Lay bacon out on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake bacon for about 10 minutes (you do not want it crisp – just pre-cooked). Let drain on a paper towel to remove excess oil.
To prep: If needed, remove the crescent-shaped muscle from the side of the scallop. Strip the bottom 2” of leaves off the rosemary sprigs.
Wrap a piece of the pre-cooked bacon around the scallop and anchor it with a stripped sprig of rosemary. Prepare the remaining scallops the same way – placing them in a baking dish.
In a small bowl, mix the extra-virgin olive oil with the pesto, juice from one half of the lemon, salt and pepper. Drizzle this over the entire scallop. Let marinate for 15 minutes (not too much longer or you run the risk of “cooking” the scallop with the lemon juice.)
Set up the grill for direct grilling. Brush and oil the grate. Grill the scallops until cooked through – 2 to 3 minutes per side. Squeeze the other half of the lemon over the scallops. Serve at once.
(Serves 8)I like this Fresno-perfect dish at room temperature as a salad or hot as a side to a Greek-inspired chicken, pork or lamb dish. Grape leaves are available at Middle Eastern markets.
- ¼ cup pine nuts
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 1 ½ cups long grain white rice
- 2 ½ cups chicken broth
- ½ cup preserved grape leaves
- 1 tbs brine from grape leaves
- ¼ cup or more fresh lemon juice
- ¼ cup raisins (I like golden)
- Freshly ground pepper
- ½ cup chopped green onions
- ¼ cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
- ¼ cup chopped fresh dill
In a large soup pot, heat oil and gently brown pine nuts – about 4-5 minutes. Meanwhile rinse grape leaves to remove the brine and shake off excess water. Remove large stems and then rough chop the leaves. Stir in rice, broth, leaves, brine, ¼ cup lemon juice and raisins. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cover. Simmer until liquid is absorbed – about 30 minutes.
Remove from heat and fluff rice. Add pepper, onions, parsley, dill and more lemon, if needed.
- 1 lb asparagus, woody ends snapped off and discarded
- 2 tbs EVOO
- Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
- 2 shallots, thinly sliced and separated into rings
- 4 very thin orange slices, cut into quarters
- ¼ tsp finely grated orange zest
Position the broiler rack as close to the element as possible. Turn broiler to high. In a bowl, toss asparagus with 1 tbs EVOO and salt and pepper. Arrange shallots in a close, thin layer on baking sheet. Arrange asparagus on top of them. Toss the orange slices with the leftover EVOO and arrange in a single layer alongside the asparagus. Broil until the oranges and asparagus just start to char, about 7-8 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with orange zest. Good served hot or at room temperature.