Romesco is a Spanish sauce made from tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, roasted red bell pepper and almonds. This versatile sauce is served on salads, grilled vegetables, meats, chicken and seafood.
For the Romesco Sauce, place roasted pepper, tomatoes, oil, almonds, garlic, sherry vinegar, garlic powder and cayenne pepper in blender container; cover. Blend until smooth. (Note: If you like you can toss whole almonds and garlic clove into the blender but I find giving them a rough chop first prevents any large chunks from ending up under the blender blades.) Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Set aside
For the Scallops, mix poppy seed, garlic powder and lemon peel in shallow dish. Coat one side of scallops in poppy seed mixture
Pan sear scallops in hot oil until browned and cooked through
Toss arugula with a squeeze of fresh lemon, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. To serve, place scallops over salad. Spoon generous dollops of Romesco Sauce over top
•To roast the bell pepper and the cherry tomatoes, preheat broiler. Halve and core the pepper. Remove the top, ribs and seeds. Place the pepper halves on a baking sheet, cut-side down. Add cherry tomatoes. Broil 5 to 7 minutes or until tomatoes are slightly charred and the skin of the pepper has blistered and blackened over the entire surface. Transfer pepper to a paper bag. Close bag. Let stand 15 minutes or until peppers are cool enough to handle. Peel off blackened skin. Use roasted cherry tomatoes without peeling
• Pat scallops dry with paper towels before cooking. This will ensure that they brown nicely instead of steaming in the skillet.
This recipe was created by Cat Cora, Bon Appétit Executive Chef.