Pan-Seared Sea Scallops with Baby Arugula Salad

I’ve been having such an adventure trying out different meats and seafood over the last few weeks, but to be honest, I haven’t been in the kitchen much!

Mr. KitchenOperas had a birthday at the end of May, and so we ate out a fair bit while we were celebrating.  And all of my friends and family have been so excited about my new omnivorous eating habits that they’ve been cooking us their favourite dishes:

Our dear friends Mike & Tanya spoiled us with home-cured and -smoked salmon, along with marinated baby octopus:

Cured & Smoked Salmon | kitchenoperas.com

Baby Octopus | kitchenoperas.com

And a pulled pork that they smoked for 18 hours, which was just divine.  We ate it with my favourite coleslaw, and an awesome spicy pumpkin curry.

Pulled Pork | kitchenoperas.com

The fabulous Michael and Nicole have made us Steak Tartare:

Steak Tartare | kitchenoperas.com

Chateaubriand (even set alight with flaming booze!!) with veggies and Bernaise sauce:

Chateaubriand | kitchenoperas.com

and marinated flank steak with corn on the cob:

Flank Steak | kitchenoperas.com

Corn | kitchenoperas.com

And our friends Brian and Sue made us a sweet chili chicken and shrimp stirfry over rice noodles:

Stirfry | kitchenoperas.com

I’ve also had some great meals out — like Beef Carpaccio with my Dad:

Beef Carpaccio | kitchenoperas.com

Mr. KitchenOperas and I had an AWESOME vermicelli combination at our local Vietnamese restaurant, where we wrapped everything up in rice paper wraps, and alternated dipping it in fish sauce or peanut sauce:

Vermicelli Combo | kitchenoperas.com

And we had THE MOST AMAZING DIM SUM at Rosewood Chinese, in Chinatown!!!!!!!

Dim Sum | kitchenoperas.com

Su treated me to my first oysters, at St. Lawrence Market (yummmmmm!):

Oysters | kitchenoperas.com

I had the most worthwhile gluten-cheat on my favourite meal yet — spicy ramen from Santouka Ramen, with a pork broth that simmers for 2 days:

Ramen | kitchenoperas.com

Louise introduced me to her favourite sushi — Chirashi sushi, which is now my favourite too:

Chirashi Sushi | kitchenoperas.com

And we got takeout from Tabule with my family — including grilled chicken on top of a Halloumi & arugula salad (along with the world’s best tahini cauliflower, pickles, and pickled turnips):

Tabule | kitchenoperas.com

I’ve had such a great time eating out, and now I’m slowly getting back to routine, cooking and eating more at home.  I want to learn a few dishes that I can really make my own, and be comfortable cooking them for guests.

I tried my hand at Honey Garlic Chicken, which was totally easy and delicious — even if I did get a little excited with the broiler!

Chicken Drumsticks | kitchenoperas.com

And so now I’m onto seafood. Since I loved oysters so much, I thought it would be a great idea to try other bivalves.  I’m so excited for mussels and clams, but in the meantime: scallops!!

Pan-Seared Sea Scallops with Baby Arugula Salad | kitchenoperas.com

When I was eating a vegetarian diet, I ate all-bold-flavours-all-the-time.  And now that I’m eating a wider range of foods, I’m learning to love lighter, quieter flavours too.  Scallops are subtle.  And delicious.  But I can’t quite help myself — I’ve bumped the flavour up a little notch with some spicy cayenne pepper.

Pan-Seared Sea Scallops with Baby Arugula Salad | kitchenoperas.com

I would absolutely serve these scallops to guests — as with all seafood, get the freshest you can, and enjoy!  Scallops are a great choice in terms of both sustainability and protein content, and I think they’re supremely delicious.

Pan-Seared Sea Scallops with Baby Arugula Salad | kitchenoperas.com

Pan-Seared Sea Scallops with Baby Arugula Salad

These scallops take less than 5 minutes to cook.  So get your salad ready first, and then pop your scallops in the pan once you’re ready to eat them.  (4 large scallops serve one person as a substantial main course, or two people as an appetizer).

  • 4 sea scallops (about 100g)
  • 2 big handfuls of baby arugula
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or to taste)
  • 4 Tablespoons olive oil, divided into 2 + 2 Tablespoons
  • 1 Tablespoon dill mustard (or Dijon mustard)
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon

Rinse the scallops and lay on a paper towel to dry.  Season both sides with salt, pepper, and cayenne.

Mix together the salad dressing: with a fork, whisk together the dill mustard and lemon juice, along with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil.  Pour this dressing over the arugula, and toss to coat the greens.  Place the greens into two serving bowls and crack pepper over the top.

Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat.  When the oil is blisteringly hot (drops of water sizzle when they touch the oil surface), place the scallops in a single layer in the pan.  Leave them alone for 2 minutes — you’re creating a nice crust here.  After 2 minutes, flip the scallops with a spatula or tongs, and leave them alone for another 2 minutes.

Place the scallops on top of the salads, and eat with delight!

Tags: , , , , , ,

Categories: Appetizer, Dairy-Free, Fish & Seafood, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Main Course, Salad

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