Matt Jennings' Pan Roasted Scallops with Mushroom Broth, Spring Vegetables, Soft Herbs, Mustard Grain and Sesame Crumble

Summer's here in Austin, though not quite yet in New England, where chef Matt Jennings came up with this mouth-watering recipe with spring veggies and fresh scallops. He even snapped a pic in our newest bowl, available to our dinnerware and hospitality community soon. Tag us on Instagram @keithkreeger and @matthewjennings when you make this recipe for your family!

Pan Roasted Scallops with Mushroom Broth, Spring Vegetables, Soft Herbs, Mustard Grain and Sesame Crumble

Matt Jennings
Serves 4

When made properly, broths have a way of providing an incredible depth of flavor – but in a light and unobtrusive way. I would personally rather have an amazing vegetable broth over a heavy, dairy-based broth, any day. This fresh and light spring recipe showcases how intensely flavorful and umami-rich a simple mushroom broth can be and it provides a great backdrop to a dish that is punctuated by luscious seared scallops, heady garden herbs, piquant mustard grain and slightly sweet sesame brittle. Think about changing up your base ingredients to alter the broth flavor profile. I like to smoke the mushrooms on a barbecue grill for about 30 minutes as a little flourish to this dish, although it is not necessary.


Ingredients: Make ahead

For the broth

  • 8 cups water
  • 4 large oyster mushrooms
  • 8 to 10 shiitake mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1 small onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup celery with tops, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup carrots, roughly chopped
  • 2-inch piece fresh ginger, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp white or red miso paste

Make the broth ahead of time, up to 24 hours in advance: Place all of the ingredients in a slow cooker on low. Cook for 3 hours, stirring once every hour.

Strain contents through a sieve or ideally, cheesecloth. Reserve broth. Discard everything except for the shiitake mushrooms, which can be saved for future dishes. Once the broth is cooled, store in the refrigerator.


For the brittle

  • 3/4 cup pure cane sugar
  • 1/4 cup wildflower or other mild honey
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • 1 cup raw white sesame seeds
  • 1 vanilla bean, scraped
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
Place the sugar, honey, salt, nutmeg, vanilla bean and water into a small (1 1/2 quart), thick-bottomed saucepan. Heat on medium heat and stir until a smooth paste is formed. Add the butter and stir in baking soda gently.
    Stir in the raw sesame seeds.
      Pour the mixture out onto a Silpat-lined baking sheet. (If you don't have Silpat, pour directly onto a buttered metal baking sheet and use a metal spatula to separate brittle from the pan once cooled.)
        Once completely cooled and hardened (about 15-20 minutes), break into small pieces. You can make this up to 1 week in advance.


          Ingredients: For the dish

          • 3 hakurei turnips, cleaned and trimmed of greens except for about ½” intact, with the greens reserved
          • 10-12 morel mushrooms, cleaned well and sliced into ¼” rings
          • 1 cup of English peas, shelled and left raw
          • 5-6 spears of asparagus, sliced into thin bias cuts
          • 2 cups of mushroom broth, warmed in small pot over low heat
          • 1 tablespoon room temperature unsalted butter, plus one additional room temperature tablespoon
          • 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
          • 12 large, dry diver scallops, feet removed and discarded
          • I sprig freshly picked thyme
          • 1 sprig freshly torn mint
          • ½ lemon to squeeze for garnish
          • 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard to garnish
          • kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
          • extra virgin olive oil to garnish

          Pat the scallops as dry as you can with paper towel. Season them with salt and pepper. Set aside. Heat up the broth in a small pot, bring to a gentle simmer.

          In a 12” non-stick pan over medium heat, drizzle the tablespoon of grapeseed oil. When shimmering in the pan, place the scallops in slowly and allow them to begin to sear- do not move them! Keep the heat on medium. 

          While the scallops are searing on the first side, place the peas, the asparagus, the sliced morels, and the first tablespoon of butter into the pot with the warming broth. Keep on very low simmer.

          Turning back to the non-stick pan, turn the scallops over gently with a fish spatula. Once they are all turned over, place some of the thyme into the pan, and then the second tablespoon of butter. Baste the scallops continually with a spoon, so as to caramelize the outside of them- turning them golden brown. You need proper control of your heat here- so if you aren’t getting the color you want- gently turn your heat up. The thyme will certainly pop in the pan- don’t be alarmed. Just stand back from the stove.

          Once the scallops are nice and seared, turn the pan off immediately and transfer the scallops to a plate with paper towel so they can drain.

          Turn off the pot with the simmering broth. The peas, asparagus and morel mushrooms should be gently cooked at this time. Taste the broth. Adjust for seasoning.

          To plate the dish, simply place three scallops per bowl, and with a spoon, drizzle the warm broth over the top of each dish, ensuring everyone gets ample portions of the warmed vegetables.

          Garnish each bowl with the whole grain mustard, fresh thin slices of hakurei turnips, freshly torn mint and more thyme leaves, a squeeze of the lemon, the sesame crumble, perhaps a few turns of a pepper mill and finally a drizzle of olive oil.

          -Enjoy!