Plum juice sweetens this salty seafood dish.
* The designations u/10 and u/15 refer to the scallops' size. The "u" stands for "under" and indicates that fewer than 10 (or 15) scallops will make 1 lb. If 10 or fewer of the scallops make a pound, those are good-size scallops.
** If you can't find sea beans, you can substitute with baby arugula.
Step 1: Prepare a bowl of cold salted water.
Step 2: Remove and discard the muscles from the scallops — the little nub of flesh where the scallop was attached to its shell. Drop the trimmed scallops into the salted water and move them around a little to get rid of any sand. Rinse and pat them dry. Let the scallops come to room temperature, and then lightly salt them on both sides.
Step 3: In the meantime, juice the plums. You can do this using a juicer or you can just cut them in a large dice, put the diced plum in a mesh strainer, and press on it with the back of a spoon to extract the juice. You should have enough for 2 tbsp of juice per person: 1⁄2 cup in all.
Step 4: In a small bowl, toss the sea beans with a squeeze of lemon juice and a pinch of salt.
Step 5: Coat a large sauté pan well with olive oil and place it over almost high heat. Put the scallops in the pan (do this in two batches to avoid crowding the pan) and don't touch them.
Step 6: After 1 - 1 1⁄2 minutes, flip them and cook them for 1 - 1 1⁄2 minutes on the other side. They should begin to caramelize a little on both sides. Stick a metal probe into one of the scallops to check to see if done. If it comes out cold, cook them a little longer. If it comes out warm, they're done. (The cooking time will vary depending on the size of the scallops.) Transfer the scallops to a paper-towel-lined plate.
Step 7: Put 4 small spoonfuls of plum juice in each of four shallow bowls. Place a scallop on top of each spoonful of juice, and drape a piece of lardo over it; the lardo will start to melt a little. Garnish each bowl with some sea beans, and serve.
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Reprinted from Roberta’s Cookbook Copyright (c) 2013 by Carlo Mirarchi, Brandon Hoy, Chris Parachini and Katherine Wheelock. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House, LLC, a Penguin Random House Company.