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November 23, 2015


Celia Sin-Tien Cheng

I was eager to check out Battersby’s new cookbook since I love and admire the restaurant and its food, so I was excited at the prospect of reproducing some of the dishes at home. However, when the book arrived and I began leafing through the pages, I got the sense that it was more of a monograph, meant to showcase beautiful photos of the dishes rather than serve as a cookbook. In the moment, the recipes looked too complicated to be made at home. However, I reconsidered this after reading the introduction, in which Battersby chefs Joseph Ogrodnek and Walker Stern emphasize that, with enough preparation, all of the recipes can be easily made at home. Ogrodnek and Stern have plenty of experience cooking their high caliber meals in a limited amount of space — if you’ve been to Battersby, you know how small the kitchen is. Hence, planning and prep make all the difference. This has been a really good lesson for me, and what seemed daunting actually became possible. I’m sharing the recipe for the marinated scallops with cherries, almonds and tarragon tempura to show you that it’s not as difficult as it sounds.

Marinated Scallops with Cherries, Almonds, and Tarragon Tempura

Marinated Scallops with Cherries, Almonds, and Tarragon Tempura

Joseph Ogrodnek, Walker Stern and Andrew Friedman

Excerpted from the book BATTERSBY by Joseph Ogrodnek, Walker Stern, and Table 12 Productions, Inc. Photography Credit: Tuukka Koski. Copyright © 2015 by Joseph Ogrodnek and Walker Stern. Reprinted by permission of Grand Central Life & Style. All rights reserved.

Serves 4

We came up with this recipe at Battersby one night. The restaurant has a backyard garden with lots of herbs, which gives us a chance to play around with them. We especially love how even the stem of young, tender tarragon is edible, which led us to fry entire branches in tempura batter and incorporate them into dishes. One night we improvised this dish for some regulars pulling various ingredients we had on hand for other dishes, and it immediately became part of our repertoire. The entire thing can be readied and cooked in less than ten minutes. Since the scallops aren’t cooked, try to get the freshest you can and ask your fishmonger if they are suitable to be served raw.

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 10 almonds, peeled and split in half
  • Kosher salt
  • About 2 cups canola oil or other neutral oil, for frying
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sparkling water
  • 4 large young tarragon branches
  • 4 large diver scallops
  • 1 lemon
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 10 sweet red cherries, halved and pitted


  1. Heat the olive oil in a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat.
  2. When the oil is shimmering, add the almonds, toss gently, and fry for 1 minute. Transfer to paper towels and season immediately with salt. Set aside.
  3. Pour canola oil into a medium pot to a depth of 1 inch and heat the oil over medium heat to 325°F.
  4. Meanwhile, make a tempura batter by whisking together the flour and sparkling water in a medium bowl, along with a few ice cubes and a pinch of salt. The mixture should be thin, like a crepe batter; whisk to eliminate any lumps.
  5. Dip the tarragon branches in the tempura batter and lift them out, letting any excess batter run back into the bowl. Fry them in the hot oil until light golden brown and crispy, about 90 seconds, adjusting the heat level as necessary to maintain the temperature.
  6. Use a slotted spoon to transfer them to paper towels to drain.
  7. Season immediately with salt. Set aside in a warm place while you prepare the scallops.
  8. Cut each scallop into 5 round slices and lay them on a plate in a single layer without overlapping. Season the slices with salt and pepper and drizzle a little olive oil over them. Finely grate some lemon zest over the slices, then cut the lemon in half and squeeze a little juice over the slices, catching any seeds in your hand and discarding them.
  9. Divide the scallop slices among four small plates. Scatter the nuts and cherries over the scallop slices and garnish each plate with a tarragon branch. Serve.