Seared scallops with bacon and cabbage

By Michael Hunter
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Apple cider-braised red cabbage puree:

  • 4 cups (1 L) thinly sliced red cabbage (1/2 medium cabbage)
  • 4 cups (1 L) fresh apple cider
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) kosher salt


  • 1 pound (450 g) Wild Boar Bacon (page 87) or slab bacon, diced
  • 1 cup (250 mL) thinly sliced white onion
  • 2 teaspoons (10 mL) minced garlic
  • 8 cups (2 L) thinly sliced green cabbage (1 medium cabbage)
  • 1 cup (250 mL) dry white wine
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) ground fresh juniper berries
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • Kosher salt


  • 12 large (U10) sea scallops
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) each grapeseed oil or vegetable oil and unsalted butter, for searing


Apple cider-braised red cabbage purée:

  1. In a large pot, combine the red cabbage, apple cider, cinnamon stick, cloves, and salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to the lowest setting, cover with a lid, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until all the liquid has evaporated, about one hour. Discard the cinnamon stick. In a high-speed blender, purée the cabbage until smooth. Return the purée to the pot and cover with a lid to keep warm.


  1. In a large pot over medium heat, cook the bacon until it begins to crisp, five to eight minutes. Add the onion and cook for three minutes. Add the garlic, green cabbage, white wine, thyme, juniper, and pepper. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the cabbage is very soft and tender and the liquid has evaporated, 15 to 20 minutes. Check the  seasoning and add a pinch of salt if needed. Be careful not to over- season; there may be enough salt in the bacon. Remove from the heat and cover with a lid to keep warm.


  1. Heat a  large  cast-iron  or other heavy skillet  over high  heat for four to five minutes. Season the scallops with salt. Add the grapeseed oil to the pan. Add the scallops to the pan and then add the butter. Sear the scallops, without moving them, for two to three minutes, until they caramelize and get a deep brown crust. When they are golden around the edges, flip the scallops and cook for 30 to 60 seconds, just to heat through. Scallops are best eaten medium-rare doneness, when they are plump and juicy. Reheat the purée if needed before serving.
  2. Serve the scallops with the red cabbage purée and green cabbage.


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