Pan-Seared Scallops on Baby Lettuce Greens with Tarragon Vinaigrette
Serves 4 as a main dish, 8 as an appetizer
This is a quick, easy and delicious recipe that is appropriate as an appetizer for an elegant meal, as well as a light main dish for dinner. The greens wilt only slightly under the hot scallops, and the vinaigrette ties all of the flavors together. You can use this method with most any seafood that you prefer. The recipe can be made in any amount needed.
- 1-1/4 pounds large sea scallops
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 5 to 6 ounces mixed baby salad greens, prewashed or rinsed and dried
- 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1 tablespoon balsamic or red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
If the scallops are very wet, place them between several layers of paper towels; let set for about 5 minutes to remove excess moisture. (If the scallops are not excessively wet, all you need to do is pat them dry.) Season the scallops with salt and pepper. Place 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet and place over medium-high heat until very hot but not smoking. Add the scallops, making sure not to crowd the pan, and sauté on the first side until nicely browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn to the other side and cook one more minute.
Meanwhile, divide the greens among four plates. Combine the remaining ingredients for the vinaigrette, including the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, in a small bowl. Arrange the cooked scallops, browned side up, on each bed of greens. Take the skillet off of the burner and add the vinaigrette. Stir briskly, just until hot and slightly reduced. Drizzle some of the pan vinaigrette over the scallops and greens. Serve immediately.