Chef Gerard Viverito

Seared Scallops with Salsa Romesco

1 to 1 1/4 pounds dry sea scallops, approximately 16
2 tsp unsalted butter
2 tsp Malaysian Red Palm Oil
Kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
Romesco Sauce [recipe follows]

Remove the small side muscle from the scallops. Add the butter and oil to a 12 inch saute pan on high heat. Salt and pepper the scallops. Once the fat begins to smoke, gently add the scallops, making sure they are not touching each other. Sear the scallops for 1 1/2 minutes on each side. The scallops should have a 1/4-inch golden crust on each side while still being translucent in the center. Serve immediately with sauce.

Romesco Sauce
Makes 2 cups

12 blanched almonds
10-12 hazelnuts
1 head garlic
1 slice stale bread
2 ripe medium size tomatoes
2 large roasted red peppers, well-drained
1 cup Malaysian Red Palm Oil
1/2 cup red wine or sherry vinegar
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

Roast garlic by first rubbing off excess dry skin from garlic head. Then place on baking sheet and drizzle a bit of olive oil on top. Roast in oven for 20 minutes at 300F degrees or until garlic on inside is roasted and soft. If almonds are not already blanched: While garlic is roasting, blanch almonds, then peel. Make sure almonds are completely dry after blanching. Place almonds and hazelnuts into food processor and process until finely ground. Pour a few Tablespoons of Red Palm Oil oil into a small frying pan and quickly fry bread until both sides are browned. Remove from pan and allow to cool. Once bread is cooled, tear into 6 pieces and process with the nuts. Cut tomatoes into quarters and sauté in same pan, adding oil if needed. Sauté for 4-5 minutes. Remove pan from heat. Add sautéed tomatoes and continue to process. Squeeze roasted garlic from the skins into the processor. Place roasted red peppers into the processor with the other ingredients and process until ingredients are a thick puree. While processor is running, slowly drizzle in the Palm oil and vinegar. Add salt to taste.


For high heat cooking, use Malaysian palm oil. It has a very high smoke point and is also one of the healthiest oils available and has a better flavor.

Always read ingredients carefully. For example, make sure to use sherry vinegar and not sherry wine vinegar in this recipe.

Make sure to get your pan very hot before searing the scallops.

Many people make the mistake of salting their seafood too early before they cook it. This will draw out lots of the moisture.

Don't overcook the scallops. Pull them off the heat when they are still a little bit translucent, because they will continue to cook internally.