Sweet citrus, peppery watercress and crunchy pistachios are served with tender pan seared sea scallops for a delicious yet very healthy meal. Include a whole grain roll and a glass of red wine and it is a good example of a heart healthy Mediterranean meal that is typically high in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts and extra virgin olive oil.
Seared Scallops With An Orange, Watercress And Pistachio Salad
Serves 2 as main course or 4 for an appetizer, adjust the recipe according.
Honey Citrus Vinaigrette
- 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tbsp. fresh orange juice
- 1 Tbsp. fresh lime or lemon juice
- 1 tsp. honey, more or less
- 1 tsp. freshly grated ginger
- 1 small garlic clove, minced
- salt and pepper to taste
Whisk all the ingredients together to emulsify. Taste and adjust the seasonings to your taste, if necessary. Set aside until ready to use then whisk again.
- 1 or 2 bunches watercress, tough stalks removed (arugula may be substituted)
- 1 or 2 oranges or tangerines, peeled and sectioned (canned mandarine oranges, packed in water, may be substituted)
- 1/4 c. shelled pistachios
Trim tough stalks from the watercress, wash and dry well. Peel and remove white pith from oranges then cut the flesh between the membranes into segments. Toss the greens and orange segments gently with some of the vinaigrette and sprinkle the pistachios on top just when you are ready to serve. Once plated, drizzle remaining vinaigrette over scallops.
Pan Seared Scallops
- 4 or 5 large dry sea scallops per person (2 for an appetizer portion)
- salt and pepper to taste
- oil for sautéing (I use high heat peanut oil)
Pat scallops dry with paper towel and season both sides with salt and pepper to taste. Coat a nonstick sauté pan with a small amount of oil. When the oil is hot, add the scallops in one layer and cook undisturbed for two minutes or until golden. (Do not overcrowd the pan…cook in batches if necessary.) Turn and cook for another minute or two, depending on size and thickness. Serve immediately with the watercress and orange salad to the side of the scallops so that the heat doesn’t wilt the greens.
A Mediterranean diet is one of the healthiest ways of eating and is recommended by the World Health Organization to promote health and prevent chronic disease.
- Did you know that according to the CDC’s Powerhouse Fruits and Vegetables list, watercress is ranked number one, with a nutrient density score of 100 percent.
- Pistachios are one of the lowest calorie nuts and have almost 6 grams of protein per 1 ounce serving. They are also an excellent source of the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin which are essential for eye health.
- Oranges are a good source of fiber, vitamin C, thiamine, folate, and antioxidants and have multiple health benefits.
- Extra virgin olive oil, which is the best quality oil available, is rich in antioxidants, which help prevent cellular damage caused by molecules called free radicals.
- Six large scallops, approximately 125 grams, are only 125 calories and have 25 grams of protein and nutrients that promote heart and brain health.
Not only do the scallops and salad make for a delicious meal, you can see that is is a very healthy one as well.
When we lived in New England, we enjoyed having scallops often. Here in Florida, they are expensive so we only have them once in a while. If you live in an area where good scallops are not reasonably priced or are hard to find, pan sautéed or grilled shrimp would make an excellent substitute.