Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Spinach Salad with Bacon, Scallops and Avocado

Ingredients:


  • 2 pieces of black forest bacon
  • 6 scallops (preferably dry, meaning not packed in preservatives) 
  • 10 oz fresh spinach
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • A handful of cherry tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1 chopped yellow bell pepper
  • A handful of chopped mushrooms
  • About 2/3 cup of balsamic vinegar


Directions:


  • Cook and drain bacon and chop into matchstick size slices and set aside to cool
  • Leave excess bacon fat in your frying pan as you're going to use it to sear your scallops
  • Let scallops sit out for a bit until they reach nearly room temperature and then season on both sides with salt and pepper, add a dash of paprika for a bright colorful sear, if you're in the mood
  • On very high heat, gently place the scallops in the hot bacon fat in the pan, no more than 3 at a time. You should hear a sharp sizzle as you place down your scallops, and don't move them around the pan, we're working to sear them
  • Cook for 1-2 minutes on each side, they should have a golden brown sear (which comes from the sizzle you heard earlier) 
  • Place the scallops on a paper towel 
  • Wipe out your pan and add a generous amount of balsamic vinegar, cooking on high heat
  • When the vinegar becomes slightly syrupy, remove from heat and allow to cool completely before dressing your salad (this process gives it a much sweeter, smoother taste)
  • Assemble your salad with spinach, chopped bacon, chopped bell pepper, chopped mushrooms, sliced onion and cherry tomatoes.
  • Toss with your cooled balsamic and a little olive oil, and assemble on plates
  • Top with thick slices of fresh avocado and finally with your seared scallops. 
 

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