Spanish Arugula Salad and Scallops

Active Time: 4 Servings minutes • Total Time: 35 minutes

Yields: 15

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  • For the Orange Cardamom Chocolate Truffles
  • 8 ounces high-quality dark chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • cocoa powder, for rolling
  • For the Oysters
  • 1 dozen fresh oysters in their shells
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges, seeds removed
  • For the Salad
  • 1 cup cooked orzo pasta, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup pitted green olives, halved
  • 1 small fennel bulb (with greens), thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons blanched almonds, lightly toasted
  • 1 – 5 ounce container Earthbound Farm Organic Baby Arugula or Spring Mix
  • 2 blood oranges or 1 grapefruit, segmented, juices reserved
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar, more as needed
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, browned and cooled slightly
  • 2 tablespoons clarified butter* or ghee
  • 1 pound U-10 scallops, cleaned, patted dry
  • 1 garlic clove, slightly smashed
  • 3 – 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Recipe by Homemade

For the truffles: Fill a medium sauce pot with 2 to 3 inches of water and place over medium heat. In a heatproof bowl that will comfortably fit on top of the pot (without touching the water) combine the chocolate and water. Place the bowl on top of the pot.

Once the chocolate begins to melt around the edges you can start to whisk it; continue whisking until the chocolate is completely melted and has emulsified with the water. Remove from the heat and stir in the salt, orange zest and cardamom.

Transfer to the fridge or the coolest part of the kitchen until it has set up and is at a scoopable consistency.

Place a good amount of cocoa powder in a bowl or plate. Using a 1 tablespoon portion scoop or measuring spoon, scoop the chocolate ganache, roll into balls (working quickly as the chocolate melts at body temperature) then coat in cocoa powder. Place the finished truffles on a plate and refrigerate until ready to eat.

For the oysters: Fill a bowl or line a plate with crushed ice.

Rinse the oysters under cold running water, using a brush or stainless steel scrubber to remove any built up dirt that may be there. Place the oyster in a dish towel with the tapered end facing you and fold the top of the towel over it. Insert an oyster knife in the tip and gently wiggle it back and forth until it opens. Gently slide the knife around the edges to release them and throw the flat half away.

Run the knife around the shell of the oyster- taking care not to spill any of the liquid- to ensure that the oyster is no longer attached to the shell.

Arrange the oysters on the crushed ice and, once they are all shucked on the ice, place the lemon wedges next to them for serving. Serve immediately or place in the fridge for up to 2 hours before serving.

For the salad and scallops: In a large salad bowl toss the orzo, olives, fennel, almonds and arugula or spring mix until everything is evenly distributed.

In a small mixing bowl whisk together the blood orange or grapefruit juice and sherry vinegar. Taste and add more vinegar if needed to achieve a tangy, sweet balance. While whisking, slowly drizzle in the cooled browned butter, making sure to get all of the toasted milk solids in as well. Taste and season as needed with salt and fresh ground black pepper.

Heat a cast iron or large skillet over medium high heat. Season both sides of the scallops with salt and pepper.

Add the clarified butter or ghee to the pan and swirl it around. Once it’s hot carefully place the scallops in the pan, leaving at least 1 inch of space between each one. Cook undisturbed for 2 to 3 minutes. Using tongs or a fish spatula, check the scallops to see if they’re golden brown and, once they are, flip them and cook for an additional 2 minutes or until golden brown on the other side.

Turn the heat off and scoot the scallops so they’re closer together. Tilt the pan towards you to pool the fat and carefully add the garlic and thyme (the thyme will crackle so don’t be alarmed!). Use a large spoon to spoon the butter over the scallops a few times. Remove from the pan to a cutting board or plate.

Dress the salad with 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette, adding more as needed so that everything is lightly coated. Divide evenly between 4 dinner plates or bowls and garnish with the blood orange segments. Top with the scallops.

*You can make your own clarified butter by placing cold butter in a sauce pot over the lowest heat possible. Once it has melted completely, carefully pour out the fat, leaving behind the milk solids (the white bits). Clarified butter will keep for a long while in the fridge in a clean container.

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