Seared Scallops With Spinach, Cranberries and Citrus Beurre Blanc Sauce
The juice of one large orange, freshly squeezed
The juice of two lemons, freshly squeezed
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 smalls shallots, finely chopped
2 inches strip orange zest
2 inches strip lemon zest
1 garlic clove, minced
1 sprig fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
cup heavy cream
2 sticks unsalted butter, cubed, cold
1 pound sea scallops, rinsed and patted dry
1 tablespoon to 2 olive oil or clarified butter
salt and pepper, to taste
8 cups fresh spinach
1/2 cup dried cranberries (preferably processed without added sugar)
1/4 cup slivered almonds
Place all the ingredients except the heavy cream and butter in a 1-quart saucepan and place over high heat. Bring to a boil and reduce until the liquid is nearly evaporated, 12 to 14 minutes. Reduce the heat a bit and add the heavy cream to the pan; reduce by half, 1 to 2 minutes more. Remove the pan from the heat and reduce the temperature to low.
Add a few cubes of the butter to the pan, return the pan to the heat and use a whisk to stir constantly until the butter is melted. Remove from the heat and add a few more pieces, returning the pan to the heat and whisking until the butter is melted. Continue to place the pan on and off the heat, adding a few cubes of butter to the pan each time and whisking until all the butter is used.
Remove the sauce from the heat and strain through a fine-mesh strainer. Keep warm until ready to serve — do not allow the sauce to boil or it will separate.
Heat a small, heavy (preferably cast iron) skillet over high heat until very hot. Add the olive oil or clarified butter to the pan and sear the scallops about 2 – 3 minutes on each side. Be careful not to over-cook them or they will turn rubbery.
Divide the spinach between four plates and top each with an equal amount of the scallops. Scatter the almonds and cranberries equally over each plate, then drizzle with the beurre blanc sauce (you don’t have to use all of the sauce unless you want to – it’s very rich).