Step 1: Chunky leeks
- For 6 servings, trim 3 large leeks.
- Slice small cylinders a touch larger than your scallops, and rinse out grit under cold water. Drain well.
- Melt 1 T butter in a medium pot (with a thick base) and add leeks, standing on end. Crowd together in a single layer.
- Cover and soften over low heat about 20 minutes with a bay leaf and 4 sprigs fresh thyme, with no stirring (breaks up the shape of the leeks.)
- Add a couple spoons of water or dry white wine if necessary to keep from burning on pot bottom.
- Once leeks are tender and cooked, add 2 T. chopped fresh dill, chives or tarragon. (We used chives.)
- Optionally add 1/4 C cream. Bring to simmer just before serving, thinning with a little water if necessary. Season with sea salt.
Step 2: Sorrel cream
- Finely mince 1 shallot and place in small pot with 1 T. melted butter.
- Soften over low heat, covered, 5 minutes with no browning.
- Add 1 C. heavy cream, 1 bay leaf, and bring to simmer.
- Meanwhile, slice finely about 20 fresh sorrel leaves and add to cream, simmering 5 minutes.
- Season and add a sprinkle of water if sauce is too thick.
Step 3: Sautéed scallops
- Clean and trim the scallops, 3 per person.
- Heat 1 T. butter in a non-stick pan until foaming stops, but before smoking, and place scallops in pan. (Be careful to leave space between each scallop to allow for better browning)
- Optionally, toss in the zest from one lemon during last minute of frying.
- Depending on size, sauté about 3 minutes first side to brown nicely, then 1/2 minute on the other side.
- Season with coarse sea salt, and a squeeze of lemon, and serve.
Step 4 : Ready to eat
- Arrange 3 leeks standing up on plate, faced by 3 scallops, and between the two rows, some sorrel cream.
- We dressed up some lamb's lettuce with olive oil to add some freshness to the plate.