Wheatless Wednesday – Warm Scallop Salad with Mango Vinaigrette

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Looking for something light and summery – and FAST to make for dinner?  How about a warm scallop salad with perfectly seared sea scallops over a bed of mixed greens, avocado and, I’m in Maine – so blueberries.  Top all of this with a spicy, sweet mango vinaigrette for a lovely summery taste sensation.  Best of all, you can whip this up in 20 minutes or less, depending on how fast you are at putting things together – five minutes or so to make the salad, another five to make the mango vinaigrette and then the scallops only take 3 minutes to cook.  Done and delicious!

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Scallops are a great choice for seafood lovers.  They are not only delicious  but low in calories and high in protein.  They are excellent sources of Vitamin B12 and omega3 fats.  Sea scallops are also a good environmental choice.  According to  Seafood Watch, wild-caught scallops are a “Best Choice” or “Good Alternative,” depending on where and how they’re harvested.  Worldwide, farmed scallops are a “Best Choice” because farming methods have little impact on the surrounding environment, however, some countries have questionable farming methods, so I would check before buying.

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I happened upon this mango vinaigrette when I noticed I had some leftover sliced mango that needed to be used up and thought it would make a tasty salad dressing. I grew up with homemade dressing (Thanks Mom!) so I usually make my own.  You will rarely see me pulling a bottle of store-bought dressing from the fridge.  Truly spoiled. I just don’t like that bottled taste they all have. Making it fresh is so worth the extra few minutes, however, if you have a dressing you love, go for it.  With a fruity dressing, I like to pair something savory or spicy like jalapeno or, in this case, red Fresno chili pepper, which also adds a nice color to the vinaigrette.  This otherwise simple dressing also has oil and lemon juice with a sprinkle of salt and pepper.  It was great paired with the greens and warm scallops.  It would also be tasty on grilled shrimp or fish.  Sometimes simpler is better as you can taste each and every flavor.

TIPS:  If blueberries are not available where you are, substitute another fruit, like ripe peaches, or sliced red or yellow bell pepper.  You can use fresh or frozen (defrosted) mango slices or chunks.  If you are using a fresh mango, click HERE for a short video on how to cut a mango from cooking pro Martha Stewart, herself.  It’s easy and brilliant.  If you are still struggling to remove the large mango seed, you should check it out.

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WARM SCALLOP SALAD

1 large bunch of mixed greens, bib lettuce or baby spinach
3/4 cup fresh blueberries OR 1 red or yellow bell pepper, sliced
1 avocado, sliced
2-3 spring onions or large scallions, sliced
1 1/4 pounds+ dry sea scallops, (4-6 per person)
2 teaspoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons olive oil
salt and pepper

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  • Place mixed greens in a large salad bowl along with the blueberries, scallions and avocado.

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  • Rinse and dry scallops with a papertowel, sprinkle with salt and pepper and set aside.

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  • Add the butter and oil to a wide saute pan on high heat until almost smoking.  Add the scallops in a single layer round side down, making sure they are not touching each other and sear for 1 1/2 minutes on each side. The scallops should be golden brown on both sides but still soft in the center. Don’t overcook or they will get tough and chewy. Cook in batches if necessary.

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  • Remove to a serving plate.

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  • Place a large spoonful of salad mixture on a serving plate and top with 4-6 warm scallops.

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  • Top with mango vinaigrette

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MANGO VINAIGRETTE

1/2 ripe mango, roughly chopped or mango chunks (frozen, thawed okay)
1 red Fresno chili pepper, roughly chopped or 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
3 Tbsn olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

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  • Place mango and chili pepper in a food processor or blender and pulse until it’s finely minced.

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  • Add lemon juice and olive oil and process until smooth. Add a bit more oil if necessary. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste

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  • Pour into a serving bowl.

Warm Scallop Salad with Mango Vinaigrette

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

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1 large bunch of mixed greens, bib lettuce or baby spinach
3/4 cup fresh blueberries OR 1 red or yellow bell pepper, sliced
1 avocado, sliced
2-3 spring onions or large scallions, sliced
1 1/4 pounds+ dry sea scallops, (4-6 per person)
2 teaspoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons olive oil
salt and pepper

  • Place mixed greens in a large salad bowl along with the blueberries, scallions and avocado.
  • Rinse and dry scallops with a papertowel, sprinkle with salt and pepper and set aside.
  • Add the butter and oil to a wide saute pan on high heat until almost smoking.  Add the scallops in a single layer round side down, making sure they are not touching each other and sear for 1 1/2 minutes on each side. The scallops should be golden brown on both sides but still soft in the center. Don’t overcook or they will get tough and chewy.
  • Remove to a serving plate.
  • Place a large spoonful of salad mixture on a serving plate and top with 4-6 warm scallops.
  • Top with mango vinaigrette

MANGO VINAIGRETTE

1/2 ripe mango, chopped or mango chunks (frozen, thawed okay)
1 red Fresno chili pepper or 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
3 Tbsn olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

  • Place mango and chili pepper in a food processor or blender and pulse until it’s finely minced.
  • Add lemon juice and olive oil and process until smooth.
  • Taste and add salt and pepper to taste
  • Pour into a serving bowl.

2 thoughts on “Wheatless Wednesday – Warm Scallop Salad with Mango Vinaigrette

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