Time: 50 mins
Bay scallops—which are smaller and sweeter than sea scallops—are found in estuaries up and down the Eastern Seaboard, from New England to the Mid-Atlantic region. Any of them will work here, but if you really want to pull out all the stops, search for those from Nantucket Bay, which are prized for their candylike succulence. Celery purée swirled with black truffle butter enhances the delicacy of the seafood.
For celery purée:
1 cup chicken stock or reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced celery (about 3 ribs)
1/2 cup chopped peeled potato
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley sprigs
1 lb bay scallops (preferably Nantucket Bay), tough ligament removed from side of each if attached
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
3 Tbsp black truffle butter, softened
Garnish: chopped celery leaves
Make celery purée:
Simmer broth, celery, potato, onion, and 1/4 tsp salt in a small heavy saucepan, covered, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes. Add parsley and cook, uncovered, 1 minute. Purée mixture in a blender until very smooth (use caution when blending hot liquids). Keep warm in saucepan.
Pat scallops dry and season with 1/4 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp pepper. Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers, then sauté scallops until barley cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes. Add truffle butter and stir until melted, then transfer scallops with a slotted spoon to a bowl. Stir celery purée into truffle butter in skillet. Spoon onto plates, then mound scallops in center and sprinkle with celery leaves.
Do Ahead: Purée (without truffle butter) can be made 1 day ahead and chilled. Reheat in a microwave or in a saucepan over low heat before stirring into truffle butter.
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