Seafood is a favorite treat in our family, and scallops are near the top of the list. Having recently returned from a vacation that included delicious food and wine, we both stepped on the scale and decided to begin a regime of dieting – or, at least, sensible eating with an eye on calories, fat, sugar, salt – you know the drill…
I don’t believe that healthy eating has to feel punitive, so I wanted to make a special treat for our supper that would fit with our plan. I actually developed this recipe in my head while cruising down the 101 as we approached Pismo Beach for the final night of our road trip to the Bay Area. That evening I slurped oysters while Larry enjoyed a huge shrimp cocktail. Of course, there was wine and a trip to the outlet mall conveniently located next to our hotel – but that is another story.
The scallops at our seafood market looked beautiful this morning and I had a plan to caramelize them and serve them over some fresh greens I hoped to pick up at the Farmer’s Market across the bridge in Coronado this afternoon. I picked some Meyer lemons from our tree and treated myself to a bottle of champagne vinegar. I was good to go.
Dress, toss and serve the greens on two dinner plates and pop them in the fridge. They will chill while you prepare the scallops, which cook in a flash. The hot, caramelized scallops on top of the chilled baby greens were the combo I had been hoping to serve for our supper.
Serves 2, generously
- 3 tablespoons Meyer lemon juice or other fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- kosher salt and ground white pepper (optional)
- 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 6 cups organic mixed baby greens
- 1 pound sea scallops, cut into halves vertically
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- sea salt and ground black pepper (optional)
1. In a small deep bowl, measure out the vinegar. Add the mustard, salt and pepper and whisk together.
2. Add the olive oil, whisking as you pour.
3. In a large bowl, toss the greens with enough of the vinaigrette to lightly coat the lettuce. Serve onto 2 plates and chill salad in fridge while you prepare the scallops.
4. Pour the sugar into a plate and roll the scallops in the mixture. Set aside.
5. Heat the oil in a large skillet. When the oil is hot, add the scallops and cook 3 minutes on each side until both sides are lightly browned. Do this in batches, adding more oil and heating it before cooking the second batch. (You don’t want to crowd the scallops in the skillet.)
6. Place a portion of the caramelized scallops on top of each plate of salad and finish with a squeeze of lemon juice. Serve immediately.