Zaida Photography

Nicole from My Karma Kitchen visits Roanoke.  Nicole is a friend and fellow ICE Alumni.  Since graduation, we remained close and when she moved from NYC to Baltimore we immediately started planning a visit.  We spent the weekend doing a tiny bit of site seeing and a whole lot of catching up, cooking, eating and drinking. Oh, and we can’t forget the Food Revolution marathon.

It was nice to have someone so skilled in the kitchen to collaborate with.  I admit I have slacked off and haven’t kept my training up to snuff.  When Nicole asked me the last time I had made a pan sauce, I wanted to crawl under a rock.  I watched in awe as she prepared this recipe, she seriously could have done it blind folded.  I am still day dreaming about that spring salad.  Who knew adding a drop of extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice and honey to spring greens could taste so good?

Be sure to check back, we also made grilled artichokes.  

Scallops with Fresh Spring Greens & Orange Fennel Reduction
Serves: 2

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Orange Fennel Reduction
1 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 fennel bulb, roughly chopped
few fennel fronds
dash of cayenne pepper
1 tsp. whole peppercorns

  1. Using a 2-quart sauce pan, add all ingredients and begin reducing over medium – high heat.
  2. Reduce to approximately 1/4 cup.
  3. Strain and set aside.

Balsamic Reduction
3/4 cup balsamic vinegar

  1. Using a 2-quart sauce pan, add balsamic vinegar and begin reducing over medium – high heat.
  2. Reduce until it reaches a thick, sauce like consistency. Otherwise known as nappe*. Approximately 1 – 2 Tablespoons.
  3. Remove from heat and set aside.

Fresh Spring Greens
baby greens (mix of arugula, watercress, pea and dandelion greens)
pinch of fennel fronds
1/2 fennel bulb, thinly shaved
1/2 watermelon radish, julienned
1/2 golden beet, julienned
1 T. freshly picked parsley, whole leaves
2 – 3 springs lemon thyme, picked
1/2 T. extra virgin olive oil
juice from 1/2 lemon
zest from 1/2 lemon
1/2 tsp. honey
salt & pepper, to taste
sliced almonds, seasoned and toasted
pinch of cayenne pepper

  1. Season greens with salt and pepper.
  2. Toss almonds with extra virgin olive oil.
  3. Season almonds with salt, pepper and pinch of cayenne pepper.
  4. Lay almonds on sheet pan and bake at 300 degrees for approximately 5 minutes or until you smell a nutty aroma. Watch carefully to avoid burning.
  5. Remove almonds, shake and cool.
  6. Gently toss all ingredients (including almonds) with olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest and honey.

Pan Seared Scallops
6 scallops, cleaned
salt & pepper
2 T. canola oil
1 T. butter

  1. Using paper towel, pat scallops dry.
  2. Season scallops with salt and pepper.
  3. Using a saute pan, heat oil and butter over high heat. 
  4. When oil and butter is screaming hot but not smoking, add scallops and sear 2 – 3 minutes on each side.
  5. Remove scallops and set aside. (do not wash saute pan, see next recipe)

Orange Fennel Reduction (continued)
1 orange, segmented
1 T. butter

  1. Remove fat from saute pan used to cook scallops.
  2. Over high heat, deglaze with reserved orange juice reduction.
  3. Add orange segments, about 5.
  4. Reduce until a thick, sauce like consistency. Otherwise known as nappe*.
  5. Remove from heat and finish with butter.


  1. Lay 3 scallops on small plate.
  2. Gently place salad on top.
  3. Drizzle orange fennel reduction around salad and plate.
  4. Drizzle balsamic reduction around salad and plate.

Cooking Notes:

  • Eyes. When cleaning scallops, do not forget to remove the “foot”.
  • Cooking time on scallops will vary. Use all your senses when cooking. Do not turn scallops until nice and brown. They are done when there is slight resistance to the touch and opaque in center. Do not overcook or they will dry out.
  • Nose. When toasting nuts, a good indication that your nuts are toasted is when you can smell their fragrance.
  • Touch. *Nappe is a cooking term meaning to coat back of spoon.  It is a good test to perform ensuring your sauces are thick enough.  Simply coat a spoon with sauce, take a clean finger and run it down the back of the spoon and if the liquid does not run through the line, your sauce is nappe.
  • Mouth. Taste your ingredients throughout the cooking process and adjust seasoning as you go, to your palate. Seasoning in layers will bring out the best in all of your ingredients.

Enjoy! From My Karma Kitchen to yours.

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If you live in the Baltimore area and are interested in taking cooking classes, be sure to contact Nicole at My Karma Kitchen to reserve your seat now.

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