This dish makes a uniquely delicious first course. Look for matcha, a Japanese green tea powder with a vibrant color and deep, somewhat bitter, flavor in Asian grocery stores or gourmet markets. If you can't find it, pulverize regular green tea in a spice grinder.
1/3 cup crème fraîche
1 1/4 teaspoons matcha (Japanese green tea powder), divided
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/8 teaspoon Hungarian hot paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
18 large sea scallops (about 1 3/4 pounds)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/4 teaspoon fleur de sel or other sea salt
2 tablespoons fresh chervil (optional)
How to Make It
Place crème fraîche in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until stiff peaks form. Add 1/2 teaspoon matcha, lemon juice, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and paprika, stirring with a whisk.
Combine remaining 3/4 teaspoon matcha and ground ginger in a fine mesh sieve over a bowl; press ginger mixture through sieve. Sprinkle the ginger mixture evenly over scallops.
Heat a large heavy skillet over high heat. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons oil to pan; swirl to coat. Arrange half of scallops in a single layer in pan; cook 2 minutes on each side or until browned and desired degree of doneness. Remove scallops from pan. Repeat procedure with remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil and scallops. Arrange 3 scallops and about 1 tablespoon crème fraîche mixture on each of 6 plates. Sprinkle evenly with fleur de sel and chervil, if desired.