SCALLOP SALAD WITH RED PEPPER VINAIGRETTE
Even grilling in this heat wave seems too much. And maybe meat is sounding a bit heavy with appetites waning. Here’s an alternative salad with a Greek influence, red pepper vinaigrette and scallops that sauté in less than 10 minutes. How much easier can dinner be? If you have never tried scallops, this is the perfect time. There are basically two kinds of scallops found in the United States. Bay scallops which are very small and can average 100 to a pound. These are from the east coast and found fresh in the fall.
They are very tender and sweet. The more popular sea scallop is much larger, moist and sweet as long as they are not overcooked. Sea scallops are sold by size with the U10 to
15 being very large. A pound averages 10 to 15 scallops and they often come frozen, which is perfectly fine. In fact because they are fragile, they are preferable. The “fresh” scallops are almost always frozen and thawed. There are many ways to serve these but their beauty is how quickly they cook. Providing the pan in which they are sautéed is hot, they cook in about 3 to 4 minutes per side. To make getting this salad on the table quickly, bottled or canned roasted red peppers are used for the vinaigrette.
Red Pepper Vinaigrette
3 large bottled or canned red peppers*
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
In a food processor or blender, puree the red peppers. Add the red wine vinegar, salt and pepper. Process briefly to blend. With the motor running, pour the olive oil in.
This can be made a day ahead and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before using for this salad if made ahead.
1–5 ounce package of field greens, spring mix or mesclun (These are basically the same)
10 to 12 calamata olives, cut in half
1/4 cup chopped basil (one .67 ounce package)
4 ounces feta, crumbled
Grape tomatoes as desired
Grated rind of 1/2 lemon
6 to 8 U 10 to 15 scallops, thawed if frozen
2 to 3 tablespoons vegetable oil or peanut oil
Scallop Salad with Red Pepper Vinaigrette – page 2
Arrange the greens on two plates. Top with half of the olives, basil, feta and grape tomatoes, which may be cut in half if desired. Sprinkle with the lemon rind. Set aside.
Starting with the smallest amount of oil, heat until very hot, but not smoking.
Pat the scallops dry. Sprinkle with salt and pepper on both sides. Add the scallops to the pan and sauté 3 to 4 minutes until golden brown. Add the remaining oil if necessary. Turn and repeat on the second side. Place the scallops on top of the salad and serve with the red pepper vinaigrette.
Yield: 2 salads
*When I searched some of the supermakets for the roasted red peppers, I had trouble finding them. The Hill in St. Louis has them in abundance in a variety of sizes. A 15 ounce can or bottle should have enough peppers.
©Copyright Helen S. Fletcher. All rights reserved.