Lovely and delicate, scallops are a delicious favorite to pair with light and lively greens. When it comes to creating a salad, I look to local farms and Mother Nature for inspiration. Each season the ingredients change just a bit.
The bed of the dish can be any type of lettuce and greens you love. We all have our favorite. Add a few leaves of spinach and a “splash” of color with a small bit of red cabbage or red lettuce. Thinly sliced pears and small dried cranberries are delicious additions that won’t overpower the scallop’s delicate flavor.
When prepping, note the scallops need to be as dry as possible. Blot delicately between paper towels at least twice. Place scallops on a plate and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Because of the quick cooking time, any dishes or other dinner prep should be complete before searing, as once the pan sauce is created, the scallops should be served immediately. Enjoy!
Seared Scallops Salad
- 1 to 1 ½ pounds scallops, which is 4 to 5 scallops per person
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- Tip: Remove side-muscles first. It’s a small tag of muscle tissue on back of scallop that adheres it to shell. Its fibers run opposite of the rest of the scallop. Pinch with thumb and fore finger and give it a small tug. It will pull away.
- Pat dry, more than once if necessary. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Heat butter and oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When your pan is ready, add scallops a single layer about an inch apart, not crowding the pan.
- They cook quickly, for about two minutes, when golden brown, flip with spatula or tongs.
- Cook until deep golden brown for about 2 to 3 minutes, until just firm and opaque. Do not overcook. The top and bottom of your scallops should be golden brown and when you look at the sides, they should be opaque all the way through. Transfer to plate immediately.
Note: Because scallops cook so quickly, all of the other elements to your meal should be completed before you begin searing.
Buttermilk Dressing – For more ideas, see dressing graphic below!
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1/4 mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 1/2 teaspoon dried dill
- 1/4 fresh chives, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- Combine, whisk, chill. The dressing thickens as it chills.
Note: This recipe also calls for 2 cloves garlic, minced, however I have omitted to keep the flavor light and delicate for the scallops.