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Warm Spinach Salad with Scallops

Garlic crostini are a delicious accompaniment to this salad and take only minutes to prepare. To make them, preheat an oven to 400°F. Cut a baguette into 1/2-inch slices, brush with olive oil and place on a baking sheet. Bake until golden, about 5 minutes. Peel a clove of garlic and rub it onto each warm slice of bread.

Ingredients:

  • 3 thick-cut bacon slices, chopped
  • 2 tsp. white wine vinegar
  • 1 minced shallot
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • About 3/4 lb. baby spinach
  • 1 lb. sea scallops, side muscles removed

Directions:

In a fry pan over medium heat, cook the bacon, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, stir together the vinegar, shallot and a pinch of pepper. Add the spinach and toss to coat with the vinegar mixture. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to the bowl of spinach, then drizzle 2 Tbs. of the bacon fat over the spinach and toss quickly to combine. Divide the spinach mixture among individual plates. Reserve the remaining fat in the pan.

Return the fry pan to medium-high heat and add the scallops. Cook, turning once, until golden brown on both sides but still slightly translucent in the center, about 2 minutes per side. Arrange on the spinach and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Seafood, by Jay Harlow (Oxmoor House, 2007).