Sometimes, date night is better suited in a warmly lit, comfortable kitchen, or on a nicely dressed picnic table in a field, surrounded by citronella and torches. Now that I have your visual imagination thinking, heres whats for dinner:::
Summertime calls for a light, refreshing meal that is nutritionally dense, without being overwhelming for your stomach.
Scallops with Sprouted Quinoa & Asparagus.
8 ea Scallops (or however many you & your honey will enjoy)
1.5 c Sprouted quinoa
1/4 c Fennel, Chopped
2 T Lemongrass, finely sliced
1 Mandarin orange
1/4 bu Cilantro
1/2 bu Asparagus
2 pt vegetable stock (low sodium or homemade)
3 T Red onion, minced
1 T Sriracha
Olive Oil (as needed)
Salt & Pepper (to taste)
Prepare all of your mies en place (chop vegetables, clean scallops, prepare herbs). Once all of your aromatics and herbs are ready, start preparing your quinoa. In a pot sauté the red onion in olive oil. Add the quinoa and stir momentarily. Add the vegetable stock in (as much as the package says; usually a 1 to 2 pts water ratio). Once the quinoa starts simmering, turn down the heat to med-low and cover, leaning it partially open.
While that is cooking, start two pans with olive oil. Put red onion in one and allow it to slowly simmer. Add the Asparagus into that and cook it for about 4 minutes, or until it slightly browns on the outside, but is not overcooked. Cover and keep warm until plating.
After seasoning the scallops with salt and pepper, place them into the other pan. You want them to sear, so the pan should be very hot. Be careful not to burn yourself or get splattered by the oil. Once the bottom is seared, flip over with a spatula. Be aware not to ruin your caramelization. Once they caramelize on the other side, remove. They should be medium-rare in the center. If this is not the case, pop them in a 350ºF oven for a few minutes. Note: Scallops overcook quickly, so pay close attention to the cooking process.
During this time, be sure to check the quinoa. It should be translucent and the little ‘tails’ should unravel from the grain. If the quinoa has white specs in their centers, it needs more cooking time. Once cooked, add lemon and orange zest, lemon grass, chopped cilantro and fennel. Season to taste and keep warm until plating. I recommend plating the dinner as shown above, promptly before serving. Feel free to change the plating style if desired to allow more food on the plate, if needed.
Hope this makes for a refreshing, date night dinner!
With love & fire,