If your fall season is like mine, making it to Friday feels like a weekly marathon. Surviving all the pickups, drop-offs, sporting events, mountains of endless laundry, homework help, team meals, chores, grocery lists, etc. requires a professional quality celebration on the weekend. Here’s a dish that packs a subtle punch of fall, feels like a fancy treat, but doesn’t take much time to prepare.
Fennel is said to have calming effects perfect for the end of a long week, and the nutmeg, walnuts, and toasted apples bring this dish down ever so lightly, while still being light enough to enjoy on a warm evening autumn with a delicious glass of unoaked wine. chardonnay.
If you’re trying to squeeze every drop of warm weather out of patio season before we’re forced to embrace fall and then winter, this dish is just the celebration to spoil your weekend recovery. Invite the neighbors, pour the wine and treat yourself to another week well done!
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Scallop, fennel and apple pasta
1 lb angel hair pasta
1 lb sea scallops, drained
2 tablespoons of olive oil
½ large fennel bulb, fronds reserved, head shaved or thinly sliced
1 medium onion, cut into small cubes
1-2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
¼-½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
½ tsp. nutmeg
4 ounces heavy cream
The zest of 1 lemon, reserve the rest of the lemon
½ tsp. kosher salt
1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon of honey
1 tablespoon of olive oil
2-3 tablespoons of lemon juice
4 apples, cores removed, thinly sliced
½ bunch of finely chopped parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
3 ounces parmesan, grated
4 oz lightly toasted walnuts
Finish all the cutting first. Prepare one pound of dried pasta according to directions; cooked al dente. While the pasta is cooking, in a medium skillet, sauté the onions over medium heat in four tablespoons of butter until translucent. Add sliced fennel, garlic and sauté for another 1-2 minutes, stir in red pepper flakes, cream and nutmeg. Drain the pasta and, while hot, toss with the lemon zest, half the grated Parmesan and the sautéed onion mixture.
In a small bowl, whisk together the Dijon, honey and lemon juice and drizzle in the olive oil while whisking. Mix immediately with the apple slices. Add salt and pepper to taste. Lightly toast the nuts under a gentle grill.
In a large skillet over high heat, add the oil and scallops. Cook for two minutes on the first side until golden brown and flip for an additional minute. Let cool slightly on a paper-lined plate or rack.
Arrange the plates in the following order: pasta, scallops, apples, chopped parsley, fennel fronds, toasted walnuts, scallops and remaining parmesan.
Sheridan Lane is the director of the culinary program and operations at Lincoln Land Community College.