Robert Mondavi Scallop Recipe

Fennel Puree and Blood Orange Beurre Blanc


All of our recent talk about the Robert Mondavi Winery caught the eye of the winery’s Chef: Jeff Mosher. Once Chef Mosher saw how well the Mondavi Fume Blancs showed at a recent tasting (notes on that evening can be found here), he couldn't help but share his recipe for seared scallops that was expressly created to go with those wines.

The preparation for this dish is fairly involved, but the results look fantastic and will make a great partner for the Mondavi Fume Blanc, your favorite Sauvignon Blanc, or even a nice crisp Rose come summer time.  We’re coming to the end of the scallop season though, so hurry and get your fresh, sweet, day boat scallops to prepare this wonderful dish.

Chef Jeff Mosher

Becoming Winery Chef at Robert Mondavi Winery in January 2009 is a dream come true for Mosher, who draws inspiration from the winery’s long history of championing wine, food and art as part of a gracious, healthy lifestyle. “Being here is a perfect fit for me—I’m surrounded by people committed to great wine and to providing the best experience to our guests,” he says.  “Great food and great wine go hand in hand, each should complement the other with flavors in the food bringing out and enhancing characteristics of the wine, producing a beautifully balanced meal and an exceptional dining experience.”
Robert Mondavi Winery Seared Day Boat Scallops with Fennel Puree and Blood Orange Beurre Blanc
Robert Mondavi Winery 2007 Fume Blanc

Click here to download a printable PDF file of this recipe.

Recipe By:  Jeff Mosher, Robert Mondavi Winery Chef

Serving Size: 6-18 med size day boat scallops

½ Cup clarified butter (for searing scallops) substitute neutral oil if N/A
Salt and white pepper to taste

For Fennel Puree

4  Bulbs fennel, rough chop, reserve fennel fronds  (green tops)
1 herb bundle (wrap two bay leaves, 4 sprigs thyme, 6 parsley stems, 8 black peppercorns, 8 coriander seeds, in cheesecloth)
3 Tbsp butter
1 Cup Pernod
1 Pint vegetable stock
1 Pint heavy cream
2 Cups  picked fennel fronds (green leaves on top of fennel, not stems)
Salt and white pepper to taste
For Fennel and Citrus Salad

1 large fennel bulb, shaved very thin on a Mandoline, or cut with a sharp knife
2 blood oranges, cut into segments
2 Meyer lemon juice, sub regular lemon juice if Meyer N/A
2 grapeseed oil or pure olive oil
2 Tbsp picked chervil leaves

Blood Orange Beurre Blanc

2 shallots, peeled and sliced
3 sprigs thyme
2 bay leaves
6 black peppercorns
1 Cup white wine
1 Cup  champagne vinegar
1 Cup heavy cream
½ pound butter
1 Cup blood orange juice, reduced to ¼ Cup
 Salt to taste

For the fennel puree:  Rough chop fennel and sweat in butter for five minutes, add herb bundle and pernod, cook until pernod reduces almost all the way.  Add vegetable stock, cream, and a pinch of salt, simmer until fennel is tender.  While fennel is cooking blanch fennel fronds in boiling salted water for 20 seconds.  Place in ice water bath to cool immediately.  When fennel is tender transfer to a blender, add fennel fronds and enough of the cooking liquid to get the blender to spin, if you add too much you will have fennel soup instead of  puree.  When pureed, taste and adjust seasoning, pass through a fine mesh strainer and cool.

For the fennel and citrus salad: Toss shaved fennel with lemon juice and oil, can hold for a few hours like this.  When ready to serve add citrus segments, chervil, and a pinch of salt.

For the Beurre Blanc: Place shallots, herbs, spices, wine and vinegar in a medium sized pot.  Simmer until wine and vinegar is almost totally reduced.  Add cream, reduce by half and take off heat.  Cut butter into 1” cubes.  Slowly add butter and wisk into sauce base.  As one butter cube melts and becomes part of the sauce add two or three more and keep wisking.  When all the butter is incorporated, add reduce blood orange juice, taste and adjust seasoning.  Strain through a fine mesh strainer and reserve in a warm location.

To Finish: Pat scallops dry with a paper towel, season.  Heat a large sauté pan or two smaller pans.  When hot add clarified butter, as the butter begins to smoke add the scallops.  Cook on one side two minutes on moderate heat until they begin to brown.  When brown flip over and cook an additional 2 minutes, basting with whole butter.  Cooking time should be adjusted based on the size of the scallops available.  Do not overcook.  They should be springy to the touch, not hard.

Heat fennel puree in a pot, when hot place a couple of tablespoons into the center of plates.  Place three scallops on puree.  Toss fennel, citrus segments, and chervil together, place salad on top of scallops.  Spoon beurre blanc around fennel puree and serve. 
Bon appétit!

Fume Blanc to Rock this dish

2007 Robert Mondavi Fume Blanc
This offers nice aromas of ripe fruit, with notes of peach, melon and citrus in a rather intense, bright register. On the palate there is an added herbal, green top note that serves to contrast the layered fruit flavors. The acidity is very bright, keeping this lighter weight wine nice and vibrant, and helping to drive the citrusy finish.

2007 Robert Mondavi Fume Blanc Reserve
This has a light, smoky wood tone on the nose with hints of peach, lime and lime zest. With air, subtle floral, geranium petal, and almost saffron-like notes emerge from the glass. On the palate this is rich, ripe, and vibrant, with a salty, mineral note on the backend giving this an almost margarita like quality. In a good way!

To Purchase the 2007 Fume Blanc from the Winery please follow this link.

Mentioned in this article


  • I do believe it would be better to shave your fennel on a mandoline - shaving it on a mandolin would be bad for your fennel and especially bad for the mandolin.

    Feb 26, 2010 at 4:29 PM

  • Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    89065 238,748

    Thanks for the heads up.

    I will let the chef know!

    Feb 26, 2010 at 4:39 PM

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