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Seared Scallops
and Crispy Prosciutto with Roasted Tomatoes and Smashed White Beans

Fish and Seafood

This is a wonderful combination of lively flavors - not difficult to prepare. It is a slight variation on a recipe in Jamie Oliver's The Return of the Naked Chef cookbook. Serves 4.

4-5 large ripe tomatoes, cut in quarters or eighths
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves (or chopped fresh)
Olive oil
8 slices prosciutto
2-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1-2 small dried red chilies, crumbled finely (use mortar & pestle) -
    we use dried New Mexican chilies
4-5 anchovy fillets, chopped
1 can (400 grams) white beans (cannelini or flageolet),
    drained and rinsed
Extra virgin olive oil
2 pounds scallops, large (about 6 per person)
1 batch lemon & olive oil dressing
Small handful of peppery flavored greens such as rocket
    or watercress)

Tomatoes & prosciutto
Preheat oven to 475 F. Season the tomatoes with salt and freshly ground black pepper and then sprinkle with the dried oregano leaves. Roast in oven for 12-15 minutes with the skin side down (spray baking sheet with cooking spray first). Cut the prosciutto into 2-3 strips per piece and lay amongst the tomato wedges; roast for another 10 minutes until the prosciutto is crispy and the tomatoes are juicy. Turn off the oven and let sit for a few minutes keeping warm in the oven while you prepare the remainder of the ingredients; warm the dinner plates as well.

Mashed white beans with garlic, chilies and anchovies
In medium skillet, heat a couple of Tablespoons of olive oil and then add chopped garlic, chilies and anchovies. Cook and stir for about a minute; add the drained and rinsed beans and then cook for another 2-3 minutes. Pour about 6 ounces of water over beans mixture; bring to a boil and then lightly mash the mixture to a coarse puree with a potato masher. Loosen the puree with a little more water if necessary. When heated through, pour over another couple of Tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and season with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste (be careful with your seasonings - the anchovies can make this quite salty!).

Season the scallops with salt and freshly ground pepper and then sear them on highest heat in skillet with 2-3 Tablespoons olive oil. Do not disturb them for 2 minutes. Turn and continue to fry another minute or two until golden but be careful not to overcook!

Remove scallops to a bowl and coat with the lemon-olive oil dressing.

To serve, put a dollop of the smashed bean mixture in the center of the plate. Top with tomatoes and prosciutto, the scallops, and finish off with some peppery-flavored greens. Serve with sugar-snap pears, basmati rice, warm baguette and a nice full-bodied chardonnay.


Lemon & Olive Oil Dressing

2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
5 Tablespoons olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste