Monday, June 7, 2010

Spinach Salad with Scallops, Mango, Avocado and Sugar-salted Macadamia Nuts

The kids and I were in Mooresville on Saturday so I was able to visit my friends at The Shrimp Connection. My shellfish-allergic child is away this week, so I decided that we should have a shellfish fest in his absence. I splurged and bought shrimp, scallops and jumbo lump crab meat, rationalizing that seafood prices are going to go through the roof and stay there for years because of the horrific tragedy in the Gulf, so we best enjoy now.

I've decided that I prefer scallops seared in a pan rather than grilled so I went looking for a recipe for seared scallops that might make up for our fruit and vegetable deficiency of the last few days. B recently rediscovered mango, so this Cooking Light recipe fit the bill. I modified it a bit (salt on the nuts, olive oil and cilantro instead of salt in the dressing, and a ripe avocado that begged to be included).

Spinach Salad with Scallops, Mango, Avocado and Sugar-salted Macadamia Nuts


For the Sugar-salted Macadamia Nuts:
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons water, divided
  • 1/4 cup macadamia nuts
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Cooking spray
For the Salad :
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced peeled mango, divided
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound sea scallops
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 8 cups packaged spinach
  • 1 cup diced avocado
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°.
  2. Combine the sugar and 1 tablespoon water in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in the macadamia nuts. 
  3. Spread the nuts onto a baking sheet coated with cooking spray and sprinkle with salt. 
  4. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes. 
  5. Immediately scrape onto a sheet of foil coated with cooking spray. Spread  the nuts evenly on the foil and cool completely. Lightly chop, then set aside.
  6. Combine 2 tablespoons of the water with 1/2 cup mango, lime juice, olive oil, ginger, and cilantro in a mini food processor. Process until smooth. Set dressing aside.
  7. Sprinkle scallops with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. 
  8. Heat the vegetable oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. 
  9. Add the scallops; searing for 2 minutes on each side. Be careful not to overcook! 
  10. Arrange 2 cups spinach on each of 4 plates. Top each serving with 3 ounces scallops, 1/4 cup mango,1/4 cup avocado and 1/4 cup onion. Drizzle each serving with 3 tablespoons dressing; sprinkle with 1 tablespoon nut mixture.
Yield: 4 servings
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes

I thought the salad was a great combination of tastes and textures -- sweet and savory, crisp, crusty and smooth. It was a really healthy, light and fresh dinner for the beginning of the week. Good thing, because whatever I do with that crab meat is going to be decadent!


Guinnah said...

that looks amazing! of course with something like "sugar-salted macadamia nuts" how could you go wrong?

JGH said...

Yum - looks incredible! You have the same issue with shellfish that I do with tree nuts, so I'll wait till my daughter is away, but I'm definitely gonna make this.

I saw a report yesterday that said that even the good seafood from the Gulf is suffering from such a stigma, that the price is dropping now! I keep hearing conflicting reports. I really hope they're able to keep most of it from getting contaminated.