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Seared Scallop Salad

Scott Phillips

Servings: 2 as a main course

In this streamlined dinner salad, the scallops are seared on very high heat so the outside browns and the inside remains juicy. For best results, look for “dry” scallops, not ones marked “water added,” and remove the tough tabs of muscle with your fingers. A couple of minced anchovies and a tablespoon of rinsed capers would give the salad a briny touch.


  • 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbs. heavy cream
  • 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • Pinch sugar
  • Coarse salt (preferably sea salt) and freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 small new potatoes, boiled until tender, cut in half or quarters if large, and kept warm
  • 3/4 lb. large sea scallops, patted dry (see How to buy the best sea scallops)
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine or vermouth
  • 5 cups mesclun or 2 large bunches watercress, trimmed, rinsed, and dried
  • 1 Tbs. finely chopped fresh chives

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 650
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 400
  • Fat (g): 44
  • Saturated Fat (g): 10
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 4
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 27
  • Cholesterol (mg): 80
  • Sodium (mg): 760
  • Carbohydrates (g): 31
  • Fiber (g): 5
  • Protein (g): 34


  • Grate the zest from the lemon, reserve it, and squeeze the juice from half the lemon into a large bowl. Add the mustard and cream, whisking to blend. Slowly add the extra-virgin olive oil, whisking until thickened. Season with the sugar, salt, and pepper. Add the cooked potatoes and toss to coat.
  • Season the scallops with salt and pepper. Heat a heavy-based skillet on high and add the olive oil. When the oil is very hot, add the butter. Add the scallops, leaving a bit of space between them. Sear them without moving them around. When they’re well browned at the bottom edges (after about 2 min.), turn and brown the other side, about 1 minute or so more. Remove the scallops from the pan and pour off the fat. Put the pan back over medium heat. Add the lemon zest and wine or vermouth to deglaze, scraping up any bits stuck to the bottom. Cook until the wine is reduced to a syrupy glaze. Remove from the heat.
  • Add the mesclun to the warm potatoes and dressing and toss to coat the greens. Divide the salad between two dinner plates.
  • Arrange the scallops on the greens. Pour the glaze from the pan over the scallops and garnish with the chives. Serve right away, with a warm baguette and a glass of cold rosé.

Finish the meal on a sweet note with Creamy Lemon Parfaits.


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Reviews (6 reviews)

  • NikkiR | 03/09/2018

    This is become my favorite way to make scallops. I absolutely love this recipe. It's oddly both light and substantial, with excellent flavors.

  • jojo1990 | 05/18/2015

    Loved this one. I did not have all the right ingredients for the salad, but wow this is a save and a must do again. Delicious and easy

  • whoadammitranch | 02/07/2015

    I love this so much, I fix it whenever I need to pamper or reward myself. It is fast, luxurious, and delicious. THE way to cook scallops and the potatoes make it substantial enough for a main. Highly recommend.

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