I have a confession to make.
I am on a quest to lose a lot of lbs.
Towards that end, I’m eating truck loads of whole grains, lean proteins, fruit and veg. And, I’m exercising on a regular basis (a bit too regular for my liking). It’s super fun. I heart healthy, clean living.
I am also learning to cook healthier. I’m not so great at it… yet. Most of my attempts thus far have turned out less than stellar. I have, however, had success with fish and seafood.
One recipe I am particularly fond of is for an arugula salad with pan-seared scallops. It has a fresh orange dressing, orange supremes, Asian pear, and red onion.
What is an orange supreme? It’s an orange segment without the pith, outer skin, and seeds. It can be a bit tricky to supreme an orange. Watch this helpful video before attempting to do so if you haven’t done it before. The guy in the video uses some fancy shmancy knife but you can just use a paring knife. It works fine.
Arugula Salad with Pan-Seared Scallops and Orange Dressing (Serves 2)
- 6 dry-packed sea scallops (do not use bay scallops- you’ll be hungry!)
- A wee amount of canola oil (to sear the scallops)
- Baby arugula (enough to cover two dinner plates)
- One Asian pear, thinly sliced
- Supremes from 2 oranges
- A few thin red onion slices
- 2 tsp finely minced shallots
- Juice from the 2 oranges you used above
- Champagne vinegar
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Salt & Pepper to taste ( go light on the salt)
To make the scallops:
Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat. Put in the canola oil. A tablespoon or so will do. Don’t use a non-stick pan. If you do, the scallops won’t develop that nice crust. And soggy scallops with no crust are nasty. Trust me. I tried using a non-stick pan and spray oil and the results were no bueno.
While the oil is heating, make sure to blot the scallops on a paper towel to rid them of excess moisture. Then coat them well with salt and pepper (this and the blotting aids in crust development).
Place the dry scallops into the heated pan. Put them far apart enough in the pan so they’ll sear, not steam. Also, resist the urge to flip them too early. HINT: You’ll know you are trying to turn them too early if the scallops stick to the pan. Cook them about 2 to 3 minutes on each side.
To make dressing:
Supreme the oranges and set aside. Squeeze the carcasses of the oranges over a bowl to catch the juices. Add minced shallots, champagne vinegar, EVOO and S&P to the bowl. Use a whisk to incorporate. Alternately you can put the lot into a jar with a lid and shake, shake, shake to your heart’s content. Taste. Adjust the seasonings accordingly. Set aside.
To compose salad:
Divide arugula evenly amongst two large, shallow bowls or dinner plates. Artfully scatter the orange supremes, Asian pear slices, and the red onion over the greens. Spoon some of the dressing onto each salad (I prefer a light hand with the dressing). Top each salad with 3 warm scallops. Serve immediately.
Options: This salad is great with the addition of fresh goat cheese and toasted pecans.