This recipe was originally featured in The 30 Second Wine Advisor's FoodLetter on Thursday, May 20, 2004.

Seared scallops Australian

INGREDIENTS: (Serves two)

16-ounce can (500g) cannellini beans
Black pepper
Fresh sage
12 ounces (350g) large, fresh sea scallops
2 tablespoons butter
1 or 2 cloves garlic
2 cups fresh arugula (rocket)
Balsamic vinegar


1. Drain and rinse the beans. (If you prefer to start with dried white beans reconstituted by soaking and simmering, it's OK, but I find that quality canned beans work fine with this dish.) Put them in a saucepan with just enough water to cover, season to taste with salt, pepper and chopped fresh sage to taste. (Two or three short sprigs of sage, enough to make about a heaping teaspoon, is about right for me.) Place over medium heat and bring to a simmer.

2. When the beans are heated through, take about one-fourth of the beans and a little of the cooking liquid and mash them by hand or puree in a blender. Drain the remaining beans, stir in the bean puree, and keep warm.

3. Smash the garlic cloves and put them in a nonstick skillet with the butter, and sautee over medium-high heat until the garlic is aromatic and golden. Put in the scallops and cook just until seared on both sides but still sushi-style tender at the center. Don't overcook. Remove the scallops to a bowl and keep warm.

4. Still over medium-high heat, toss the arugula into the hot butter in the skillet and stir it just until it wilts. Discard the garlic, and divide the arugula between two warm plates. Put a portion of the sage-scented beans atop the greens, and perch a ration of the seared scallops on the beans. Decorate each plate with a swash of balsamic and serve.

WINE MATCH: This dish calls for a dry but rather full-bodied white wine; an Australian Chardonnay would make a geographically appropriate match, but any Chardonnay with good body and not-overwhelming oak, from California to Burgundy, should work fine.