Scallops are the perfect summertime food light, yet filling, flavorful, but also versatile enough to pair with all sorts of foods.
I call for sea scallops here, which are available all summer long. But make sure to confirm that the bivalves in question are "dry" scallops or "day boat" scallops. Both terms guarantee that the scallops were harvested and brought right to market.
For this recipe, I dip the scallops in flour before they're sautéed to give them a little crunch. If you can find Wondra flour at the supermarket, grab it and keep it in the cupboard for recipes like this. It is a low-protein flour that has been treated (precooked) so it dissolves instantly in water without lumping up. It provides a nice little crunch you wouldn't get if you coated your scallops with all-purpose flour.
This salad sports my version of the carrot-ginger dressing that's standard at Japanese restaurants, which I've always found to be a delicious and refreshing change from oil and vinegar.
This recipe yields a big batch of the dressing, about 1 1/4 cups, which is more than you'll need for the salad. It'll last for several days and is easily repurposed to grace chicken, fish, pork and grilled vegetables, not to mention a plain green salad. If you don't have seasoned rice vinegar in the cupboard, just use plain rice vinegar and add a hefty pinch of sugar and a little salt to the dressing.
One note about the sesame oil: Be sure to store it in your refrigerator, along with all other nut and seed oils and all nuts and seeds. These items go rancid quickly.
Warm scallop salad with carrot-ginger dressing
1 cup chopped carrot
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
4 scallions, sliced, white and green parts kept separate
3 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
2 to 4 teaspoons chili-garlic sauce (or your favorite hot sauce)
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1/4 cup, plus 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, divided
1/4 cup water
1 pound sea scallops, tough muscle discarded and scallops patted dry
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
1/2 cup Wondra flour (or all-purpose)
6 cups arugula
2 cups chopped cucumber
1 mango (or 2 peaches or nectarines), peeled, pitted and chopped
1/2 cup toasted peanuts
In a blender, combine the carrot, ginger, white parts of the scallions, rice vinegar, soy sauce, chili-garlic sauce, sesame oil, 1/4 cup vegetable oil and water. Puree until very smooth.
In a large nonstick skillet over medium-high, heat remaining tablespoon of oil. Sprinkle scallops on both sides with salt and pepper, dip them lightly in the flour, coating them on both sides and shaking off the excess, then add them to the pan. Reduce heat to medium and cook the scallops until they are just cooked through, 2 to 4 minutes per side depending on the size.
Divide arugula, cucumbers and mango among four salad bowls. Top the salads with scallops, scallion greens and peanuts, then drizzle 2 to 3 tablespoons of dressing over each salad. Serve right away.
Servings • 4
Source: The Associated Press