Two If By Sea
After a long weekend of indulging I thought it was time for a culinary change of pace. I knew that I wanted a light salad but I also knew that my husband wouldn’t want a meatless one. The compromise came out flavorful and filling and yet not heavy at all.
Spinach Salad with Seared Sea Scallops, Bacon, and Dijon-Balsamic Vinaigrette
I bought frozen sea scallops at our local grocery and defrosted them the day I cooked them (fresh would be spectacular, if you can find them). You could make this for a quick lunch or dinner, or you could omit the bacon for a meal without red meat. This made dinner for two but could easily be halved or doubled.
- 4 sea scallops, thawed
- 4 strips bacon (I buy low sodium bacon)
- Non-stick cooking spray if using non-stick pan OR 1 tablspoon butter for a stainless steel or copper pan
- 1 bag raw spinach leaves
- Fresh parmesan cheese
- Sea salt to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon rendered fat from bacon OR extra virgin olive oil for the dressing
The first thing to do to prepare for this meal is to remove the thawed scallops from the fridge and thoroughly but gently rinse them in cool water. Set them on a few sheets of paper towel and sprinkle them with salt to help bring out their moisture. Place another piece of paper towel on top and let them sit in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
In a medium skillet, cook the bacon strips until they are crisp but not burned. Place the bacon on paper towel and set them aside. Remove the scallops from the fridge and pat them dry with paper towel. The drier your scallops are, the better the sear you will get when you cook them. Sprinkle them with a touch more salt and a few grinds from the pepper shaker on both sides.
Spray a small skillet with a touch of non-stick cooking spray (or melt your butter if your pan isn’t non-stick) and heat the pan over medium. You can test the readiness of the skillet by flicking a drop or two of water into the pan – when the water sizzles upon contact, the pan is ready for your meat. Place the scallops in the pan and let them sit without moving them. After 2 minutes, carefully flip the scallops over. Allow them to cook for 1-2 minutes on the second side (depending on the size of your scallop) or until the meat is completely opaque. Be mindful that scallops should be just barely done, never overcooked.
Fill a plate or low bowl with your spinach leaves. Cut the bacon into small pieces and sprinkle them over the spinach. Place the scallops on the salad and top with parmesean cheese shavings and a few more grinds from your pepper mill.
For the dressing: In a small bowl whish together the dijon mustard and balsamic vinegar until smooth. Add either a tablespoon of the rendered bacon grease or a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and whish until combined. Drizzle over your salad. Enjoy…
this is what you called SALAD! booyah! ♥ ♥ ♥