Seared Scallop and Miner’s Lettuce Salad

| May 12, 2010 | 2 Comments

Mother’s Day found us as guests of friends for a brunch at Illahe Hills Country Club in Salem. This brunch was your typical epicurean spread with something for everyone: salads and sides galore, an omelet table staffed by two, salmon several ways, oyster shooters, a cheese table, a meat table laden with prime rib roast, a beautiful glazed ham and a leg of lamb, and, of course, dessert tables with dozens of final seductions were arranged in the middle of the dining rooms and overflowing into the hallway. Mimosas, Champagne and Bloody Marys flowed freely, along with coffee and tea.

Dinner was my responsibility on this particular evening, and how does one follow a brunch where just “tasting” a little of everything adds up to a gargantuan meal? We had leftover miner’s lettuce from the Saturday market and Vic wanted to use that up. When he asked what I planned to make, all I said was, “Scallops with miner’s lettuce!”

Utilizing a seared scallop recipe from Fine Cooking Magazine and building a salad made for a delicious and light Sunday dinner.

Seared Scallop and Miner's Lettuce Salad with Cannellini Beans, Tomato and Bacon

Seared Scallop and Miner’s Lettuce Salad with Cannellini Beans, Tomato and Bacon
Adapted from a Molly Stevens recipe in Fine Cooking Magazine

Serves two

  1. 8-10 dry* sea scallops, thawed, rinsed and dried
  2. 1 tablespoon (15 ml.) unsalted butter
  3. 1 tablespoon (15 ml.) olive oil
  4. 1 slice thick-cut bacon, cut into very small dice
  5. 3 tablespoon (45 ml.) unsalted butter, cut into six pieces
  6. 2 tablespoon (30 ml.) finely diced shallot (1 medium shallot)
  7. ¼ cup (60 ml.) dry white vermouth or dry white wine
  8. ¼ cup (60 ml.) finely chopped mixed fresh herbs, such as flat-leaf parsley and chives
  9. ¼ tsp. (1.25 ml.) finely grated lemon zest
  10. Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  11. 2 cups (480 ml.) miner’s lettuce
  12. 1 15 oz can (426 gr.) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed in cold water
  13. 1 ripe tomato, cubed
  14. 2 to 3 lemon wedges for squeezing over the salad

* “Dry” scallops are natural and have not been treated. “Wet” scallops have been treated with phosphates, which are a preservative.

Note: Have all your ingredients prepped because this recipe moves fast once you begin.

  • In a non-reactive pan (I used my 12″ cast iron skillet), fry the bacon over medium-low heat until crisp.
  • Remove to a paper towel-covered plate.
  • Wipe the pan very clean with paper towels, as any residual bacon or bacon fat will burn.
  • Dry the scallops one last time then sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • Heat the olive oil and the first tablespoon (15 ml.) of butter in the pan over medium-high heat.
  • Sauté the scallops undisturbed for about 2-4 minutes.
  • Using tongs, turn the scallops and sear the other side for another few minutes or until browned like the first side.
  • Remove the scallops to a warm platter and keep warm and take the pan off the heat.
  • Allow the pan to cool slightly before continuing.
  • Return the pan to medium heat.
  • Add 1 piece of the remaining butter.
  • Add the shallots and sauté for a few minutes until they begin to soften, about a minute or so.
  • Add the vermouth or wine and cook until reduced by about one half, about 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the herbs and lemon zest.
  • Reduce the heat and add the remaining butter, whisking until it is incorporated into the sauce.
  • Return the scallops and any accumulated juices to the pan.
  • Roll the scallops around in the sauce to coat.

Building the salad:

  • Place some of the beans on each plate.
  • Top with half of the miner’s lettuce, then some tomatoes and half of the scallops.
  • Sprinkle with the bacon and top with the pan sauce as a dressing.
  • Serve with some lemon wedges for garnish and squeezing over the salad for a bright taste.

Bon appétit

— Charles

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Category: Salad

About the Author (Author Profile)

Music, food and photography are at the center of Charles’ life. He performed with the Dallas Symphony, Dallas Opera and was assistant principal bassoonist with the Fort Worth Symphony for more than 20 years. When Charles and Victor moved to Baltimore, Charles created Lone Star Personal Chef and Catering Service and taught cooking classes at Williams-Sonoma. Now in Salem, Charles is a Realtor with Coldwell Banker Mountain West Real Estate, taught cooking classes for children at the A.C. Gilbert Discovery Village, and owns and operates Charles Price Photography. Charles and Vic enjoy entertaining and frequently host dinners as fundraisers for local non-profits and charities

Comments (2)

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  1. we always want to put lettuce in our vegetagble salads and vegetable soups.`”*

  2. Vernie says:

    Hello! I’ve been reading your website for some time now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from Atascocita Tx! Just wanted to say keep up the good work!

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