Chilled Asparagus and Scallops with Dill Oil | Wine Enthusiast
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Chilled Asparagus and Scallops with Dill Oil

Courtesy Justin Woodward, chef, OK Omens, Portland, OR

Do everything the night before and marinate the scallops just before serving. Go to a high-quality fishmonger to make sure they’re suitable to be eaten raw.


1 cup chopped shallots
4 tablespoons butter
1½ pounds asparagus, bases trimmed
½ cup white soy sauce
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup buttermilk or heavy cream
1 pound sea scallops
2 ounces fresh sorrel, cut into chiffonade
Dill Oil (recipe follows)


In sauté pan over medium-low heat, cook shallots in butter until soft and transparent. Add 2 cups water and ½ teaspoon salt, and bring to boil. Cool to room temperature and transfer to blender.

Meanwhile, set ½ pound of asparagus aside, and cut rest into 2-inch pieces. Bring pot of salted water to a boil and fill large bowl with ice water. Blanch chopped and whole asparagus just until tender and still bright green. With slotted spoon, transfer to ice bath until cool, then remove and pat dry.

Mix soy sauce and olive oil in shallow dish. Add whole asparagus and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours, up to overnight.

Add chopped asparagus to blender with shallots, and purée until very smooth, at least 3 minutes (add water, if necessary, for just-pourable consistency). Chill, stir in buttermilk and add salt, to taste. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Ten to 30 minutes before serving, remove asparagus stalks from marinade. Add scallops to dish and coat well. Let sit at room temperature for 10–30 more minutes; drain before serving.

Arrange asparagus and scallops in 4 shallow bowls. Surround with soup, top with sorrel dill oil. Serves 4.

Dill Oil

Blanch 1 bunch dill in boiling water for 30 seconds, transfer to bowl of ice water, then squeeze dry with paper towels. Transfer to blender with 1 cup olive oil and blend until very smooth. Refrigerate overnight, then strain through a fine-mesh strainer or coffee filter. Store in refrigerator.

Pair It

Barone Pizzini 2014 Nature (Franciacorta). This sparkler offers something for every element of this complex dish: Pretty herbal notes of chamomile in the wine highlight the dill oil, lemon zest complements the sorel, minerality highlights the scallops and stone fruits provide a lush pairing to the asparagus. An overall creaminess matches the richness of the complete plate, while good acidity keeps the meal bright and fresh.

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