Some days we look into the refrigerator and find small amounts of beautiful ingredients left over from a photo shoot or and idea in progress. We hate to waste ingredients and so we try to come up with tiny dishes in order to utilize the product. There's always an opportunity to create something new and wonderful as long as you have a well-stocked pantry. We like smaller portions in the evening anyway, going to bed on a full stomach is never a happy thing for either of us. That's why we love restaurants that are open for lunch. We realize that not everyone can indulge in a leisurely afternoon of food and wine but if we're going to have a big meal, that's when we prefer to do it.
So after a recent visit to Chelsea Market there was a single beautiful scallop left over one afternoon. It had been cooked sous vide and chilled. As we walked the dogs, we debated what to do with it. Alex wanted to make it into tartare and I was amenable to that. His thought was to crumble in tiny bits of piave vecchio instead of salt. Since we were already in Italy, I added some tomato powder (sourced from O&Co.) and Manni olive oil to the mix. A bit of Meyer lemon zest, chives and freshly ground pepper finished the scallop portion of the dish. In addition to The Lobster Place we had also visited Buon Italia and come home with some gorgeous slices of Prosciutto de Parma. There was some balsamic vinegar in the pantry that had been aged in cherry wood and they both seemed like natural additions to the dish. It was quick, simple and delicious. The recipe below is for one scallop but you can multiply that as many times as you please.
Italian Scallop Tartar
1 large sushi quality scallop cut into 1/4” dice
1 tablespoon crumbled piave vecchio
1/4 teaspoon of tomato powder
1/4 teaspoon finely sliced chives
1/4 teaspoon Meyer lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon Manni olive oil
1 slice aged Prosciutto de Parma
1/2 teaspoon cherry wood aged balsamic vinegar
Combine scallop, cheese, tomato powder, chives, lemon zest, black pepper and Manni olive oil. Taste and season as needed with fleur de sel. Arrange the prosciutto on a plate forming a soft, flower-like cushion for the tartar. Place the tartar on the prosciutto. Pour the balsamic vinegar gently onto the front of the tartar letting it form a small pool in the front of the scallop. Serve.