I first tasted the heavenly combination of fish, grapefruit and vanilla at one of Ottawa’s consistently delightful restaurants, The Wellington Gastropub. While Chef Chris Deraiche’s dish featured salmon as the centrepiece, I have long suspected the same flavours would be equally delicious with scallops – and I was right! This recipe has vaulted to the very top of my list of dishes that I would eat day after day if I could. Buy the biggest, freshest scallops you can find and transform them into something magical thanks to this outstanding sauce.
1 large pink or ruby red grapefruit
1 vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
1/2 cup finely diced shallots
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons white wine
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds sea scallops
1 tablespoon minced chives
- With a sharp knife, cut the peel and white pith off the grapefruit. Working over a bowl to catch the juice, cut out the segments of the grapefruit, leaving the membrane behind. Put the segments in one bowl and the juice in another.
- Scrape the seeds out of the vanilla bean pod and add to the grapefruit juice; refrigerate until needed.
- In a small frying pan, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat, then add the shallots and sauté for 3 minutes, stirring often. Add the white wine and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
- Remove from heat and add the rice vinegar and grapefruit juice. Add grapefruit segments. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
- Remove and discard any muscle tabs still attached to the sides of the scallops.
- Pat the scallops dry with paper towels then dust lightly with salt and pepper.
- In a large non-stick frying pan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the scallops, cover with a splatter screen if you have one, and cook until they are golden brown on one side (2 – 4 minutes), turn over and cook another 2 – 4 minutes until both sides are golden and the scallops are almost firm to the touch.
- While scallops finish cooking, heat the grapefruit sauce for 2 minutes over medium heat.
- Divide the scallops evenly among four plates. Spoon the sauce and grapefruit segments over top. Sprinkle with chives to finish.