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Pan Seared Scallops with Plum and Basil Sauce

(NC)-Made with delicious antioxidant-rich California plums, this recipe is a wonderful addition to your healthful summertime menus. Antioxidants are critical to maintaining healthy skin and counteracting the damaging effects of the sun's ultraviolet rays. Your friends and family will enjoy the benefits of this delicious recipe long after the scallops are gone.

  • Olive oil
  • 12 fresh California plums, pitted and diced
  • 3 shallots, minced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup white wine
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 1/4 pound butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 bunch of basil, chopped medium fine
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-1/4 pounds of sea scallops
  • Sprig of fresh basil, if desired for garnish

In a medium saucepan add a touch of olive oil, and the plums, shallots and garlic, and cook until shallots are translucent. Add white wine and lemon juice. Let cook for three minutes.

Strain ingredients using a mesh strainer over a medium-size bowl. Use a spatula and gently press down on cooked mixture to extract liquid. Add 1/2 the liquid to a blender and on medium high, add half of the cubed butter, one chip at a time, to incorporate. Pour 1/2 the olive oil in a steady stream to the emulsion, then add salt and pepper to taste. Repeat process with second half of the ingredients then combine sauce in a medium saucepan placed on low heat. Add chopped basil to sauce and stir to incorporate. Adjust seasoning if necessary.

Pat scallops dry with a paper towel to remove moisture and sear them in a skillet over medium high heat with one tablespoon olive oil (and 2 tablespoons of butter if desired). Allow scallops to caramelize, about 2-3 minutes, then gently turn over and sear second side for 2 minutes until cooked through.

Pour 1/2 the sauce on warm dinner plates and place scallops on top, 8-9 if medium size scallops are used, 5 if large, deep ocean scallops are used. Garnish with a sprig of basil and a small dusting of lemon zest if desired, and serve at once. Reserve remaining sauce and pass at the table. Makes four 5-ounce servings.

Nutrition information (5 ounces of scallops plus 1/2 cup sauce) - PROTEIN: 21 grams; FAT: 40 grams; CARBOHYDRATE: 22 grams; FIBER: 3 grams; SODIUM: 353 milligrams; CHOLESTEROL: 75 milligrams; CALORIES: 550 calories

For more recipes and information on California peaches, plums and nectarines, visit www.eatcaliforniafruit.com.

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