If you never have tried gazpacho before now is the time! Some people are put off by a "cold soup" but it is light and refreshing. Originating from Andalusia, Spain, gazpacho is a mostly vegetable base. There are some versions that will even incorporate fruit such as grapes and strawberries.
As always, I love texture and decided to make a light and refreshing tomato salad to spoon on top--and the showstopper sear scallops! If you are looking for a delicious and opening star for your next dinner, this recipe is a must make!
Gazpacho w/ Seared Scallops
- 2 large tomatoes, cored and roughly chopped (you can use red tomatoes or heirlooms.)
- 1 stalk of celery, rough chopped
- 1/2 mediume cucumber, peeled, seeded and rough chopped
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 1/2 piece of bread, torn into pieces (optional if you want to keep it gluten free)
- 1/2 cup parsley, loosely packed
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- a pinch of fresh cracked black pepper
- 1 cup tomatoes, chopped in to 1/2 inch
- 1/2 cup cucumber peeled and seeded, diced
- 1 tablespoon fresno chile, diced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- a splash sherry vinegar
- kosher salt to season
- fresh cracked black pepper
- 1 avocado diced
- 6 medium sized scallops
- 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
In a blender combine the tomatoes, celery, cucumber, garlic, bread, parsley, sherry vinegar, olive oil, salt and black pepper. Blend on high speed until smooth. If your blender cannot hold all of the ingredients, blend in batches. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve with the tomato relish, seared scallops and a drizzle of more olive oil.
Combine the tomatoes, cucumber, fresno, olive oil, sherry vinegar, salt and pepper. Toss and let sit for 10 minutes to marinate. When ready for serve, toss in avocado and spoon on top of gazpacho.
Make sure to pull the muscle that is attached to scallops on the side (it will be tough) Place scallops on paper towels and "dry out" in the refrigerator for 20 minutes. Your goal is to make sure a good bit of the moisture if gone--which equals a great sear.
Take scallops from out of the refrigerator and pat dry again and sprinkle with some kosher salt. Preheat a heavy bottom cast iron skillet with grapeseed oil over medium-high heat (to where it is starting to smoke). Gently add scallops making sure to not overcrowd the pan and cook undisturbed for 2-3 minutes. You should start to see a golden ring form (the crust). Take a spatula and flip one scallop to see if it is to your liking. Once the golden crust forms, flip all scallops and cook for 1 minute on the other side and serve. (You want to briefly cook it on the other side).