Toasted Wheat Berry Salad with Minted Peas, Crisp Chorizo, Scallions and Seared Scallops
Pair with Austerity Arroyo Seco Chardonnay
Inspired by Ada Street Café, Chicago, IL
Recipe by feedfeed
4 tbsp olive oil, divided
1 cup wheat berries
4 cups water
1 tsp salt
10 oz fresh peas
2 tbsp fresh mint, chopped
3 scallions, thinly sliced
2 oz fully cooked and dried chorizo, thinly sliced
Juice & zest of one lemon
1 dozen sea scallops, patted very dry, side muscle removed
Canola oil, as needed
In a medium saucepan, heat 1 tbsp of the olive oil over medium heat. Add wheat berries and toast for about 5 minutes, or until they start to smell fragrant and nutty. Add 4 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until wheat berries are tender and the water has been absorbed, about 40 minutes. If after 40 minutes, the berries are tender, but some liquid remains, drain them through a fine mesh strainer.
Meanwhile, cook the peas. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and set up an ice bath. When the water reaches a rolling boil, add the peas and cook for about 90 seconds, or until just bright green. Drain the peas and shock them immediately in the prepared ice bath for about two minutes. Once they have cooled, remove them from the ice bath and drain any excess water.
In a small sauté pan, heat a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add sliced chorizo and cook until it starts to crisp and release some of its oil, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and add sliced scallions to the pot and stir to combine.
Combine peas, chorizo, scallions and cooking oil from the sauté pan in a small bowl. Add fresh mint and season with salt and pepper. When the wheat berries are cooked, drain if needed, then spread on a parchment line baking tray to cool. While on the tray, season with salt and pepper and add the juice and zest of one lemon and the remaining 1 tbsp of olive oil.
When wheat berries have cooled slightly and absorbed most of the lemon juice and olive oil, add to a platter and top with the pea mixture.
Meanwhile, sear scallops. Season both sides of the scallops generously with salt and pepper. In a cast iron skillet, heat enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan over medium-high heat. When you start to see wisps of smoke and the oil shimmers, you are ready to sear. Add scallops flat side down and cook undisturbed for about 3 minutes, or until a deep golden brown crust forms and the scallops easily release from the pan. When you can easily flip the scallop, flip and cook for an additional minute or so, until the scallop flesh looks opaque near the edges and slightly translucent in the middle.
Add seared scallops to the platter with the wheat berries and peas and enjoy!