This recipe was graciously provided to us by BJ Lieberman, chef of the acclaimed local restaurant Chapman’s Eat Market. Chapman’s was recently named by the New York Times as one of the most exciting new restaurants in America. BJ also just opened an exciting underground jazz club here in Columbus called Ginger Rabbit. Before bringing his considerable talents to Columbus, BJ got his start in Charleston working under Sean Brock at Husk. After two and a half years at Husk, which won Bon Appetite’s Best New Restaurant Award, he moved to Washington D.C. to help his friend Aaron Silverman open the dearly loved Rose’s Luxury, which won Best New Restaurant in Bon Appetite and GQ magazines. Two years later, as chef de cuisine of Rose’s Luxry, BJ helped the groundwork for Pineapple & Pearls. In 2016 in the inaugural Michelin Guide for Washington D.C., Rose’s Luxury won one star and Pineapple & Pearls was awarded 2 stars.
Inspired by the change of the season, BJ has graciously given us a recipe for Seared Scallop with a Spring Pea Salad and Herby Ranch. Scallops are one of my favorite oceanic treats. At their best, they are delicate and sweet, which means that we have to be careful to choose wines that don’t overwhelm and mask their beauty.
Seared Scallop with Spring Pea Salad & Herby Ranch
Chef BJ Lieberman
This salad screams spring to me. Sugar Snap peas feature prominently and can be found at most grocery stores. Items like Shiso, Turnips and MSG can be found at international grocery stores. Scallops should be purchased from your local fishmonger or high-end grocery store and I prefer “dry packed” or IQF sea scallops. If you see “wet packed” then they will not sear up correctly. Like most salads that feature Ranch dressing, everything in this salad is simply a delivery vehicle for this awesome version of Ranch dressing. Our chef, Justin Singer made this recipe as we were opening Chapman’s and we have used it on numerous dishes. Aside from that, as the season moves along and some ingredients become scarce and others become bountiful, please feel free to swap out herbs and veggies to enjoy this delicious salad all year long.
For the Herby Ranch:
530 g Mayonnaise, Duke’s
270 g Buttermilk
65 g Greek Yogurt
20 g Apple cider vinegar
6 g Garlic powder
6 g Onion powder
4 g Oregano, dried, toasted
4 g Black pepper
.75 tbsp. Hot sauce
1 g Msg
4 g Fresh Parsley, chopped
4 g Fresh Dill, chopped
Method of Prep:
1. Combine all ingredients in a medium sized mixing bowl.
2. Whisk until all are incorporated and no lumps of Greek yogurt remain.
3. Salt to taste.
4. Transfer to a quart container and reserve for service.
For the Scallops:
3 ea Scallops
1 tbsp garlic oil (can substitute avocado or olive oil)
1 tbsp unsalted butter
Method of Prep:
1. Heat a large cast iron or heavy bottom pan on medium high heat
2. Lightly season the scallops with salt.
3. Add the oil to the pan. Before adding the scallops, make sure the oil is hot but not smoking
4. Gently add the scallops to the pan and sear for 2 minutes without touching. Once the scallop looks golden brown and the flesh has released from the pan, gently flip the scallops to the other side and add the butter to the pan. Cook the scallops and baste with butter until they are mostly cooked through. You do want a touch of opaque in the center of the scallop when it is cut in half. This takes some practice and trial and error, but once you get the hang of it, you will nail it every time.
5. Move the scallops to a plate with a towel on it to rest for 2-3 minutes before slicing.
6. Slice each scallop into 4-5 pieces and set aside for plating.
For the Salad:
15 ea sugar snap peas, sliced fine on the bias
1 tbsp fresh dill, picked and chopped
½ ea fennel bulb, sliced thin
2 ea hakurei turnip, cut into matchsticks
tt Lemon Juice
tt Olive oil or infused chive / dill oil
3 ea seared and sliced scallops
1-2 oz ranch dressing
2 ea shiso leaves, chiffonade
2 ea scallions, chiffonade
Method of Prep:
1. In a mixing bowl, combine sugar snap peas, turnips, fennel and dill. Season lightly with salt, lemon juice and oil
2. On a plate or entree bowl, spoon half of the ranch dressing into the bottom of the bowl.
3. Add half of your sugar snap pea mixture. Add your sliced scallops, scattered across the salad, then drizzle with half of the remaining ranch dressing.
4. Add the other half of the sugar snap pea mix on top of the scallops and dress with the remaining dressing. I try to hide the scallops under this second layer of salad.
5. Garnish with the sliced shiso and scallions.