Howard L. Puckett
Yield
Makes 4 servings

How to Make It

Step 1

Cut off each asparagus tip into 2 1/2-inch-long pieces. (Reserve stalks for other uses.) Toss asparagus with olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in an 8-inch square baking pan. Bake at 475° for 6 minutes. Remove from pan, and set aside.

Step 2

Cook pancetta or bacon in a large skillet until crisp. Remove from skillet, and drain on paper towels. Measure drippings, and add olive oil to measure 2 tablespoons.

Step 3

Sprinkle both sides of scallops with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Heat reserved 2 tablespoons drippings and oil in skillet over medium-high heat until hot; add scallops. Cook scallops 5 minutes, turning once, until browned on both sides. (Cook in batches if scallops don't fit in the skillet without touching.) Set aside and keep warm.

Step 4

Heat skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add orange juice and vermouth to skillet. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is reduced to 1/2 cup. Remove from heat, and whisk in butter.

Step 5

Place 3 scallops on each serving plate, forming a triangle in center of plate. Arrange 3 asparagus spears, tip end up, against the scallops. Drizzle with sauce, and sprinkle with reserved pancetta, chives, and Parmesan.

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