Not many dishes can beat this combination of fine seafood with greens. Seared scallops are excellent, especially when paired with vibrant salads. This recipe--one consisting of Seared lemon scallop salad--is a fine example.

Both the seafood and salad dishes are easy to make and combine on a plate. The scallops especially are simple as they only require a couple of minutes when searing on the skillet. However, there are a few things to note when cooking scallops for first-timers.

Firstly, scallops come in two varieties at your store: Wet and dry.

The wet variety is light in color, absorbs water when cooked, and has been chemically treated with a preservative that adds an odd flavor to them. The dry variety is darker in color, hasn't been chemically treated, and taste just fine. For obvious reasons, the latter is preferred with just about any recipe.

The second thing to note is the skillet used for the job. Preferably, you want to go with a cast-iron skillet because they retain heat quite well, making the process even easier. If you want to reheat your scallops, do so with caution. Don't leave them on too long as they will burn easily, or just use a microwave.

Seared scallop tips

  • Always buy dry scallops at the store. They cook much easier and have the best flavor.
  • Scallops are usually easy to sear as it only takes 2 minutes on each side over medium-high heat. However, that's no excuse to throw caution to the wind. Just make sure that the skillet's surface isn't too hot and don't go over the time limit. Make sure it's cast iron too.
  • You can make a vinaigrette to go with the salad if you want to or just buy some at the store to save time. Try Caesar dressing as you vinaigrette. If you don't have a dressing or want to keep things simple, you could put lemon juice or Dijon mustard on the salad instead. Or just nothing at all.

The recipe

Salad ingredients:

  • 2 heads romaine lettuce, washed
  • 4 tomatoes,
  • 1/2 small shallot
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil

Scallops ingredients:

  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 16 dry scallop
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 lemon, squeezed

The directions

  1. Start by making the salad. Wash and rinse the vegetables carefully, then let them dry in a colander or clean kitchen cloth.
  2. Make a bed with the lettuce leaves. Chop the tomatoes and pepper and spread them evenly across the bed. Julienne the shallot and do the same. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper across the bed. Drizzle the oil across the bed evenly. Once finished, chill the salad in the refrigerator.
  3. Melt two tablespoons of the butter in the skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the butter until it browns. Place the scallops around the pan clockwise and sear in the melted butter on one side for 2 minutes. The scallops must be basted during searing occasionally, so use a spoon to lift and pour the melted butter over them.
  4. Flip each of the scallops going clockwise and add the remaining butter to melt in the skillet. Continue searing and basting the scallops for another two minutes.
  5. Remove the skillet from the heat and pour the lemon juice over the scallops to absorb the fresh flavor. Immediately remove the scallops from the pan in the same clockwise order and place them onto the salad, spreading them evenly across it. Serve.

Serves: 4

Did you like that salad recipe? If so, you can also try similar recipes on this site for a Sweet and Sour Crab salad. Or try this Shrimp Fettuccine Alfredo recipe.