Asparagus with Scallops, Browned Butter and Prosciutto
Yield: 4 First-Course Servings
- 1 pound white asparagus, peeled, or green asparagus
- 3 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 ounce thinly sliced prosciutto, cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips
- 1 pound sea scallops
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup chicken stock or canned low-sodium broth
- 1. Cook the asparagus in a large sauce-pan of boiling salted water until tender, about 8 minutes. Using tongs, transfer the asparagus to a colander and leave the pan of water simmering on the stove.
- 2. Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large skillet. Add the prosciutto and cook over low heat until crisp, about 4 minutes. Transfer the prosciutto to a plate.
- 3. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in the skillet. Add the scallops, season with salt and pepper and cook over moderately high heat until browned, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer the scallops to a plate.
- 4. Add the lemon zest to the skillet and cook over moderate heat until browned, about 1 minute. Add the lemon juice and simmer for 10 seconds. Add the stock and simmer, scraping the bottom of the skillet, until reduced to a rich glaze, about 3 minutes. Swirl in the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of butter. Return the scallops, along with any juices, to the skillet and cook over low heat until heated through.
- 5. Return the asparagus to the simmering water to heat through. Season the sauce with salt and pepper. Using tongs, transfer the asparagus to a large platter and spoon the scallops and sauce over it. Top with the fried prosciutto and serve.
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