Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Weekly Recipe: Seared Scallops over Bacon and Spinach Salad

I just love when you try a new recipe and it actually tastes better than you even expected. But what really caps off a great meal is to have your family repeatedly compliment you throughout the meal and declare this to be a new "go to" recipe. It puts a big ol' smile on this cook's face! This recipe for Seared Scallops over Bacon and Spinach Salad is a definite keeper. If you're not a scallop fan, you could easily substitute grilled chicken, shrimp, or even salmon. It's just a good combination of flavors, using ingredients we almost always have on hand. It's almost a complete meal in and of itself. We had it by itself but it would be great paired with a whole grain bread.

I did make a few alterations worth mentioning. I omitted the sliced red onions at the end because mine had turned a nice shade of black and I decided the 1/4 cup of shallots in the dressing would be sufficient for providing that flavor. I also used apple juice instead of the cider but it's important to note I only buy the juice that still has the pulp in it. It's slightly thicker and much cloudier in appearance than traditional apple juice. I only used 1 tsp of sugar and next time I would omit this entirely. I omitted the salt from the dressing entirely, as I figured the bacon drippings would more than be enough. And speaking of salt, I used the full 1/2 tsp for the scallops but I would decrease this substantially next time to almost nothing. I enjoy the sweet and silkiness of scallops and the salt sort of diminishes that for me. The curry and the red pepper provide an unexpected punch. Be sure to pat your scallops dry before seasoning and searing them. Also, make sure your pan is super hot in order to get a nice sear. I only used 3 scallops per salad but if your a Rockefeller, feel free to use 5!

Seared Scallops over Bacon and Spinach Salad with Cider Vinaigrette

Adapted from Cooking Light

Yield: 4 servings


  • 1 cup apple juice
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 4 slices center-cut bacon
  • 1/4 cup chopped shallots
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups thinly sliced Granny Smith apple (about 1)
  • 1 (6-ounce) package fresh baby spinach
  • 1/4 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 12-20 sea scallops (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil


1. Combine cider and sugar in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil; cook until reduced to 1/4 cup (about 9 minutes). Remove from heat.

2. Cook bacon in a small nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving 1 teaspoon drippings in pan; set bacon aside. Add chopped shallots to drippings in pan; sauté 1 minute. Remove pan from heat; stir in cider mixture, cider vinegar, and black pepper.

3. Crumble reserved bacon. Combine bacon, Granny Smith apple, and spinach in a large bowl.

4. Combine 1/4 teaspoon salt, curry powder, and red pepper in a small bowl. Sprinkle salt mixture evenly over both sides of scallops. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add scallops to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until done.

5. Drizzle cider mixture over spinach mixture; toss gently to coat. Place about 2 1/2 cups salad mixture on each of 4 plates; top each serving with 5 scallops.

1 comment:

  1. I think this is a sure sign that I need to try scallops. I keep mentioning to Nick that I would like to try them sometime, and I keep running across recipes! This looks great!