- 1/4 cup roasted almonds, preferably Marcona
- 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 tablespoon (or more) Champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
- Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
- 8 large sea scallops (about 9 oz.), side muscle removed
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons peach preserves
- Fresh herbs, baby arugula, or microgreens
Finely chop almonds into small pieces but not into a powder. Mix almonds and 4 Tbsp. oil in a medium bowl. Whisk in 1 Tbsp. vinegar and chives; season vinaigrette with salt, pepper, and more vinegar, if desired.
Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Season scallops with salt and pepper. Add to skillet. Cook until deep golden and caramelized, 2–3 minutes. Turn scallops; add butter and thyme. Cook, frequently tilting skillet and spooning butter over, until scallops are deep golden and just cooked through, 2–3 minutes longer. (Basting adds extra flavor.)
Stir preserves and 1/2 tsp. water in a small bowl to loosen. For an appetizer, smear about 1/2 Tbsp. preserve mixture in center of each plate. For an entrée, smear 1 Tbsp. preserve mixture. Top with 2–4 scallops each. Drizzle some vinaigrette over. Garnish with herbs.