Citrus Arugula Salad with Scallops

recipe, gluten-free, salad, recipe, seafood, scallops

One our favorite dishes includes scallops. Seared scallops make a simple, yet delectable meal. Fresh, tender, buttery and delicious, seared scallops are perfect for a romantic meal, too.  I love preparing them in this simple citrus arugula salad, and dressed with a lovely sweet citrusy taste of Cara Cara oranges. (Cara Cara’s are in season!) However, Scallops have always been one of those tricky foods to cook. They have to be seared precisely right, and can easily be over cooked. After many attempts of trial and error, I’ve finally got it right.

Here is the thing, cooking scallops requires a hot pan so that they sear rather than steam. But, they also need to be dry when they hit the pan. Most scallops you buy at the store have been soaked in a liquid solution that keeps them looking white. You’ll need to drain and rinse them thoroughly, then pat them dry with paper towels before you season and cook them. Once your scallops are dry and seasoned, heat a nonstick sauté pan over a high heat, and add a tablespoon oil. The oil needs to be very hot before you add the scallops — you should actually see just a tiny bit of smoke.

Cooking the scallops, you can follow a few tips shared in Thomas Keller’s “Ad Hoc at Home”. He writes that the best way to sear a piece of fish or meat is over high heat. After you put the fish or meat into the pan, don’t try to move it — let it cook until the bottom browns and releases on its own. When it is ready to turn over, turn it, and if possible, put it in a different part of the pan. The surface there will be hotter and give the best sear to the second side. I followed these tips to achieve the perfect scallops for this dish.

recipe, gluten-free, salad, recipe, seafood, scallops

What You’ll Need:

2 cups arugula
1 cara cars orange
2 radish, thinly sliced
1/2 persian cucumber (or english cucumber), thinly sliced
1 green onion, chopped
salt, to taste
8 scallops

You’ll need to make sure to thinly slice the radishes and cucumber. I do recommend using a mandoline slicer. But, don’t worry if you don’t have one. You can also use a knife.

Citrus-Arugula-Salad-with-Scallops

Place the scallops flat-side down in the hot pan. Don’t overcrowd the pan, or the pan won’t stay hot enough to give the scallops a good sear. If you have a lot of scallops, it’s better to work in batches. Once you’ve placed the scallops in the pan, don’t touch them. (Let them do their thing!) If you give in to the temptation to move the scallops around the pan, all you’ll be doing is preventing them from forming the nice brown crust that you want. Because of variations in scallop thickness, pan temperatures and so on, it’s not easy to pinpoint an exact cooking time. But after a couple of minutes, it’s OK to peek underneath. If you see a nice, caramel-colored crust on the underside, they’re ready to flip.

recipe, gluten-free, salad, recipe, seafood, scallops

Plate your salad and place 4 scallops on top. Scallops start to turn rubbery if you wait too long to serve them, so get them on the plate right away. And be sure to serve them with the beautiful caramel-colored crust facing up.

What To Love

  • Scallops are more than 80% protein. One 3-ounce serving provides 20 grams of protein and just 95 calories. They’re also a good source of both magnesium and potassium.
  • Arugula provides a lot of detoxifying benefits and has high levels of chlorophyll. This can help to prevent DNA and liver damage from aflatoxins. To preserve the chlorophyll in arugula – eat it raw. It tastes great in a salad!
  • Radish is rich in folic acid, Vitamin C and anthocyanins.

recipe, gluten-free, salad, recipe, seafood, scallops

This salad pairs very well with a Spicy Cauliflower “Couscous” and a side of Blistered Padron Peppers (recipe to follow).  The flavors in both dishes compliment each other very well.

spiced cauliflower couscous, gluten-free, began, vegetarian, healthy recipe, gluten-free recipe, recipe, gluten-free, salad, recipe, seafood, scallops

Citrus Arugula Salad with Scallops
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Cuisine: Seafood
Serves: 2
What You'll Need
  • 2 cups arugula
  • 1 cara cars orange
  • 2 radish, thinly sliced
  • ½ persian cucumber (or english cucumber), thinly sliced
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • salt, to taste
  • 8 scallops
  • 1 tablespoon sallflower oil
What You'll Need To Know
  1. First, you'll want to thinly slice the radishes and cucumber; and, dice the green onion.
  2. In a bowl, squeeze half of the Cara Cara orange and pulp, add salt and whisk together. Add in the radish and cucumber slices, arugula and toss together.
  3. For the scallops: heat oil in a high heat. Place the scallops flat-side down in the hot pan. Don't overcrowd the pan, or the pan won't stay hot enough to give the scallops a good sear. If you have a lot of scallops, it's better to work in batches. Once you've placed the scallops in the pan, don't touch them. (Let them do their thing!) If you give in to the temptation to move the scallops around the pan, all you'll be doing is preventing them from forming the nice brown crust that you want. Because of variations in scallop thickness, pan temperatures and so on, it's not easy to pinpoint an exact cooking time. But after a couple of minutes, it's OK to peek underneath. If you see a nice, caramel-colored crust on the underside, they're ready to flip.
  4. Plate your salad and place 4 scallops on top. Scallops start to turn rubbery if you wait too long to serve them, so get them on the plate right away. And be sure to serve them with the beautiful caramel-colored crust facing up.
Notes
Cooking scallops requires a hot pan so that they sear rather than steam. But they also need to be dry when they hit the pan. Most scallops you buy at the store have been soaked in a liquid solution that keeps them looking white. So you'll need to drain and rinse them thoroughly, then pat them dry with paper towels before you season them.

Once your scallops are dry and seasoned, heat a nonstick sauté pan over a high heat, and add a tablespoon oil. The oil needs to be very hot before you add the scallops — you should actually see just a tiny bit of smoke.

 

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