Sunchokes are prepared three ways in this recipe from executive chef David Diaz of Brasserie Beaumarchais — as a purée for the base, roasted for the centerpiece, and fried into chips for garnish. A Meyer lemon purée and brown butter lemon sauce add some fruitiness and richness to perfectly cooked scallops.
Place the sunchokes and garlic in a pot and cover with the heavy cream. Bring to a simmer and cook until the ingredients are soft and the cream has reduced by ½. Drain the sunchokes and reserve the cream.
Place the sunchokes in a blender and purée until smooth, adding some of the cooking liquid, if necessary. (It should be thick and not soupy.) Season with salt, to taste, and set aside.
Heat the soybean oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. When the oil starts smoking, add the sunchokes and cook for about 5 minutes.
Add 1 tablespoon of the butter and let the butter lightly brown the sunchokes. Remove from heat and add the water. The butter should emulsify, forming a glaze; if not, add more butter as needed. Season with salt, to taste, and set aside.
Using a mandoline, slice the sunchokes about 1/5-inch thick. Place in a bowl filled with cold water. (This allows for starch removal, thus allowing for a crispy chip with a lighter color.) Fill a pot 1/3 of the way up with soybean oil and heat to 350 degrees. Remove the sliced sunchokes from the water and place on a piece of paper towel and pat dry.
Place the dry sunchokes in the oil and fry until golden brown, using metal tongs to pop any bubbles as they form and flipping the sunchokes occasionally (this will prevent any raw spots). Remove from the oil onto paper towels, season with salt, to taste, and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Place the Meyer lemons in a roasting pan and coat with the olive oil. Cover with aluminum foil and place in the oven until soft, 1 hour. Remove from the oven and let cool. Pick through the lemons to remove any seeds.
Place the lemon in a blender and purée until smooth. Season with the salt and sugar to create a sweet and salty balance. Set aside.
Season the scallops with salt and piment d'Espelette, to taste. Heat the vegetable oil over high heat. When the oil begins to smoke, add the scallops and do not move them. Reduce heat to medium.
Let the scallops brown for about 4 minutes. Flip the scallops and cook for 1 more minute. Add the butter and let it brown but not blacken. When the butter is brown, add the lemon segments and baste the scallop with the butter and lemon juice. This is the sauce.
Remove the scallops from heat and transfer to a paper towel. Season the remaining butter in the pan with salt (be careful when tasting; the butter will be very hot). With a spoon, place a large dollop of the sunchoke purée in the center of a shallow bowl and flatten with the back of the spoon.
Place 3 scallops in a triangular formation atop the purée, making sure to leave space in the middle for more garnish. Warm the roasted sunchoke and place 2 spoonfuls in the center of the plate. Place about 15 sunchoke chips atop the roasted sunchoke.
Place 3 dollops of the lemon purée around the plate in between the scallops. Spoon the lemon brown butter sauce on top of each scallop. Finish with fleur de sel on each scallop.