We’re coming to the end of strawberry season in the UK, which gives me a small window to share this recipe I developed earlier this summer but haven’t yet had the time to share. Strawberries don’t have to be part of a dessert – most berries work brilliantly in savoury dishes too. Since scallops are also sweet they pair well with bitter rocket and creamy avocado in this recipe for a scallop strawberry summer salad. The basil-lime dressing adds a sharp fresh tang.
This is actually the first time I’ve featured scallops on the blog, though certainly not the first time I’ve cooked or eaten them. I have fond memories of seafood day on my first week long cooking course (the shells in the background of the photo are actually from that course, cleaned up of course). I think I was a bit astonished to discover that they are so simple and quick to cook, yet are so gourmet. I absolutely adore them, so imagine the only reason I don’t cook them too often is expense.
They are best seasoned simply, cooked in clarified butter or ghee, and left a little undercooked. The orange coral attached to the scallop is perfectly edible, but isn’t so aesthetically pleasing in a salad. If you prefer you can cook it along with the scallop and eat it separately.
If you’re not brave enough to have a go yourself then head to the cute south coast British town of Rye. I went over one of the bank holiday weekends earlier this year and scallops are on almost every menu in town!
- 15g fresh basil
- 2 tablespoons lime juice (1-2 limes depending on juiciness)
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 50g rocket leaves
- 200g strawberries, stems removed and halved
- half a cucumber, sliced into long ribbons using a peeler
- 1 avocado, cored, peeled and sliced into segments
- 1 Tablespoon ghee or clarified butter
- 4-6 scallops, removed from their shells, dark organs trimmed*
- extra lime juice, salt and black pepper to season scallops
- In a small food processor blend all the dressing ingredients together. Set aside.
- Warm a frying pan over a medium heat and melt the ghee. Cook the scallops for 1-2 minutes on each side, until the surface is slightly caramelised. The scallops will remain slightly under-cooked in the middle, to prevent them from going tough. Drain the scallops on kitchen toweling, then season with a pinch of salt, pepper and a squeeze of lime juice.
- Toss all the salad ingredients together with 1 tablespoon of the dressing till the rocket is lightly coated. Plate up and top the salad with the cooked scallops and a further 1-2 tablespoons of dressing.
What do you think of strawberry in a salad? Would you do it? I’m not the only one to have done it! Here’s some examples!
- Maple Tossed Rhubarb, Strawberry and Lentil Salad, by Recipes from a Pantry
- Summer Salad & Strawberry Balsamic Vinegar by United Cakedom
- Pimms Summer Salad by Foodie Quine