Sea Scallops With Ham-Braised Cabbage And Kale

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
  • 1 large head Savoy cabbage (2 to 21/2 lb.), quartered and coarsely chopped (12 cups loosely packed)
  • Ham stock including meat
  • 1 ¼ lb. Tender green kale (1 large bunch), stems and center cut out and discarded and leaves coarsely chopped (12 cups loosely packed)
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 30 large sea scallops (2 to 21/2 lb) removed side muscle if needed
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Cook onion in 3 tablespoons of oil with the bay leaf in a 8-quart heavy stock pot over moderate heat, stirring occasionally until the onion becomes soft, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook for an additional 1 minute. Add the cabbage and increase the heat to moderately high, then sauté, stirring occasionally until the cabbage starts to wilt, about 5 minutes. Add the stock with the ham hock meat and simmer, partially cover the pot and stir occasionally until cabbage is tender, about 30 minutes.

Stir the kale, ½ teaspoon of Kosher salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper and simmer, partially covered pot, stirring occasionally until kale is tender, about 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 200 degrees.

Pat scallops dry and sprinkle with both Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a heavy nonstick skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Sauté scallops in 2 batches so as not to crowd the skillet, turning over once until golden and just cooked through, about 5 minutes per batch. Transfer scallops to a shallow baking dish and keep warm in the oven.

Add wine to the skillet and deglaze by boiling, stirring and scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the skillet. Reduce the liquid to about ½ cup. Stir in 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, then add sauce to the cabbage mixture. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour any scallop juices accumulated in the baking dish into the cabbage mixture, serve mixture spooned over grits and topped with scallops. Cabbage mixture can be made 1 day ahead and chilled covered. Reheat and add pan juices from scallops before serving.

Serves 6 guest.