A Superbly Sweet Scallop Salad

There is something about preparing a meal for a large group that really gets me excited! Tomorrow we are having a rather large family gathering (my Italian friend likes to point out how my family events are child’s play in comparison to her family gatherings). And good news! We’re cooking Mexican! I know you’re excited. Until those pictures hit the blog you’ll be well entertained with some delicious…seafood?! (Recipe after the jump).

Seared Scallops with Watercress and Warm Orange Dressing

(From Raising the Salad Bar by Catherine Walthers)

Ok–so here’s to hoping you live somewhere that you feel comfortable buying seafood (coming from Chicago, let me just say…that I was not). Now that we live at least SOMEWHAT near a coast I’m game! Alright, let’s dive in!

Ingredients

  • 1 large bunch watercress (2-3 cups), washed and dried (You could sub out for other greens if watercress is hard to come by)
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 t rice vinegar (Champagne or Moscatel will also work if you have them)
  • 1/2 cup fresh pineapple, diced
  • 2 radishes, sliced thin
  • 3/4 lb fresh sea scallops, membranes removed, rinsed and patted dry
  • 2 lemon wedges
  • Salt and pepper

Dressing

  • Juice of one blood orange or tangerine, about 1/2 cup
  • 2 T of same vinegar
  • 1 t maple syrup or pinch of sugar
  • 1/2 t red chili flakes

Method

Before chopping up your watercress, remove the thicker stems. Chop roughly and add to bowl, tossing with 1 T oil and a pinch of salt. Sprinkle with 1 t vinegar. Plate your salad and top with radishes and pineapple. Meanwhile (if you have more than one person cooking–otherwise I would do this after plating), heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add remaining teaspoon of oil to the hot pan and begin searing scallops (2-3 minutes on each side, making sure to brown scallops while cooking). Once cooked, arrange scallops on your salad. To make the dressing, combine the juice, tablespoon of vinegar, and maple syrup into the SAME pan and bring to a boil. Cook until liquid is reduced slightly and thicker (3-4 minutes). Grind up some fresh pepper and squeeze the lemon juice over the salad. Drizzle the dressing over your salad and serve immediately!
This salad has great presentation, especially with evenly seared scallops. I’m not going to lie, cooking scallops kind of scares me so Ktams got to do them while I took on the rest of the salad. All that said, I want to pass on a great kitchen gadget for making homemade dressings (which you should do as often as possible! It’s cheaper and uses fresher ingredients. Now I’m not going and making cream-based dressings, but you can whip up some awesome vinaigrettes).

Kitchen Gadgets

There’s the Chef’n Emulstir 
(this is the one we have–I like it fine but the next couple are kind of making me jealous)
The OXO Salad Shaker
The Norpro Dressing Maker with Mixer
The Kolder Dressing Bottle
 There are a multitude of great options! What are you using at home?

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1 Comment

  • Reply Brenda February 1, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    This salad looks delish! And I much agree…make your own salad dressings. MUCH better than anything you get at the store, cheaper and healthier. I’ve always just used a whisk and bowl, but these clever gadgets are giving me an excuse to go shopping! Thanks!

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