Friday, December 18, 2009

A Christmassy salad

This is Christmassy because of the colors not the flavors. I had to stop to buy bread (too lazy to bake at the moment) on the way home from work. So, since Central market is on the way home I stopped in there. I also knew that I had better buy something for dinner as well. We haven't eaten in much - too many parties, so I wanted something special. The scallops looked nice and the store had blood oranges. Aha! a wilted spinach salad with blood oranges, kiwi fruit and seared scallops. Lots of red and green for Christmas.

I texted Dave Gilbert to let him know about the blood oranges. He, of course wanted to know what I was making. When I told him he suggested some pickled ginger too. We always have that in the house, so I tried it. Yumm. This dish gets the ultimate accolade from madame, "We can serve this to people." Also it takes about 12 -15 minutes beginning to end. Sadly I wasn't organized enough to take pictures, so I will just have to do it again!

4T olive oil (not extra virgin) + 1T for the scallops
1 small red onion sliced pole to pole and then into strips
3 blood oranges, peeled and then thinly sliced across the orange
2 kiwi fruits peeled and sliced
Some pickled ginger - maybe 1T + 1T of its vinegar
4 jumbo scallops
salt/pepper to season scallops
a couple of handfuls of young spinach washed and drained
Extra Virgin Olive oil to drizzle
A few sea salt crystals for extra crunch

Place the 4T of oil in a non stick skillet. Heat until shimmering and add the onion. This seems like a lot of oil for one onion, but this becomes the oil base for the salad dressing. Soften the onion for a few minutes, taking care not to get any color onto it.
Once the onion is soft add the blood orange, kiwi, pickled ginger and juice. Turn heat off, and let the pan heat finish the job.
Add the 1T of oil to another skillet. Salt and pepper the scallops and immediately sear one side. This will take about 2 minutes (depends on thickness).
While the scallops are searing plate the spinach in rough mounds.
Turn the scallops over and sear for another minute or so. They want to be just cooked through. Too much and they become tough.
While the second side is searing, stir the onion/blood orange/kiwi mixture, and pour it over the spinach - essentially dressing the salad.
When the scallops are cooked, place them on the dressed spinach. Hit them with a little coarse sea salt and s drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

Because of the citrus in the dressing, you want a wine that can cut through it a bit, and also contribute some citrus flavors of its own. I suggest an NZ Saufignon Blanc - Brancott from Marlborough would be a good choice, I think

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