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Scallops with Crisped Speck and Herbed Lentils

Speck is a flavorful smoked ham that's a specialty of the South Tyrolean region of Italy. You can use thinly sliced prosciutto di Parma or another cured ham instead.

  • servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 cup French green lentils
  • 1 celery stalk, cut into 1/4-inch dice (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 shallot, coarsely chopped (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • Coarse salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 4 ounces Italian speck (such as speck Alto Adige), cut into 8 thin slices
  • 12 sea scallops (about 1 1/4 pounds), tough muscles removed
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives
  • 2 cups (about 2 ounces) baby spinach
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

Directions

  1. Step 1

    Combine lentils, celery, shallot, thyme, and bay leaf in a saucepan. Add enough cold water to cover by 3 inches. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until lentils are tender but not mushy, about 15 minutes. Drain, and discard bay leaf. Return lentils to pan. Stir in 3 tablespoons oil, 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, and pepper. Cover to keep warm.

  2. Step 2

    Heat a skillet over medium heat. Lay 4 slices speck in skillet in a single layer. Cook, pressing flat with a spatula and flipping slices if necessary, until crisp on both sides, 5 to 6 minutes. Drain on paper towels in a warm place. Repeat with remaining 4 slices speck.

  3. Step 3

    Return skillet with drippings to medium-high heat. Season scallops on all sides with salt and pepper. Add to skillet, and cook, flipping once, until both sides are golden brown and centers are opaque, about 2 1/2 minutes per side.

  4. Step 4

    Add orange zest, lemon zest, parsley, and chives to the lentils, and stir to combine. Toss spinach with vinegar and remaining 2 teaspoons oil, and season with salt and pepper. Arrange scallops and lentils on 4 plates, and drizzle with oil. Top with speck. Place spinach next to lentils. Serve immediately.

Source
Martha Stewart Living, June 2007