Pan Seared Sea Scallop Salad with Cilantro Dressing

August 9, 2011


Sea scallops are one of those foods I used to avoid making because they seemed…I don’t know…elitist? They’re sophisticated and delicate and so intimidating. I’m terrified of turning them to rubber in the pan, so I usually only go for them at restaurants. But the other night, after one too many of these, my confidence was up and I decided to go for it. On a salad. With a zesty, cilantro dressing. Dreamy. And, it was actually pretty easy.

Ingredients: (makes 2 salads)

1/3 to 1/2 pound large sea scallops (2 to 4 scallops per salad)

3 Tablespoons clarified butter

3 oz baby lettuce (about 2 large handfuls)

course sea salt

1 large tomato, sliced

1 large avocado, sliced

1/3 cup red onion, thinly sliced

1 cucumber, sliced

For the dressing:

1 bunch of cilantro, rough chopped

juice of one lemon

1 clove of garlic

3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

a pinch of sea salt

Directions: Start by preparing the sea scallops. Don’t be intimidated! Rinse thoroughly and pat dry with a paper towel. If the scallops have a little foot, cut it off. My scallops were footless…or footloose? Hmmm??? Ok, I’ll stop.

Next, sprinkle both sides with sea sea salt. In a pan, heat the clarified butter on high heat. Once the butter is hot (almost smoking hot), add the scallops to the pan.


Cook the scallops for 2 minutes on each side. The sides should have a nice brown sear, like so (from the hot butter).


Once cooked, remove the scallops from the pan. Set aside while you make the dressing.

In a food processor, blend the cilantro, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and salt until smooth and creamy. If the consistency is too runny, add more olive oil.

Assemble the salad with the sea scallops on top.


Drizzle the dressing over top.


Dig in.


See, that wasn’t so hard was it?


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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

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uwa gatavo March 3, 2013 at 8:14 am

Really good recipe! Thank You!


Jen @ Keepitsimplefoods March 3, 2013 at 2:13 pm

You are most welcome!


Jes March 27, 2012 at 11:08 am

Tried this last night and it was super simple and tasty! Thank you!


Jen @ Keepitsimplefoods March 27, 2012 at 9:18 pm

wonderful! :)


Heather August 15, 2011 at 1:15 pm

YUM – I have some scallops I bought yesterday wondering what I’d do with them. Now I know! Thanks, Jen!


Jen @ Keepitsimplefoods August 15, 2011 at 1:29 pm

You are most welcome! And thank you for your sweet note. :)


Jen @ Keepitsimplefoods August 14, 2011 at 10:53 pm

Stevie, I couldn’t agree more and I heart you.


Aparna E. August 10, 2011 at 2:45 pm

You just posted one of my favorite recipes to date. That is all :)


Jen @ Keepitsimplefoods August 10, 2011 at 3:23 pm

Aw, thanks lady!


Lindsay @ Pinch of Yum August 10, 2011 at 1:00 pm

I’ve been looking for a cilantro sauce/dressing – this is perfect! And where do you buy your scallops? Do you go to a special seafood store, or just from the grocery store?


Jen @ Keepitsimplefoods August 10, 2011 at 1:09 pm

Hope you like the dressing! I was pleased with the way it turned out. Got the scallops at Whole Foods.


The Teenage Taste August 10, 2011 at 8:35 am

This looks DELICIOUS! I love scallops!


Jen @ Keepitsimplefoods August 10, 2011 at 9:33 am

Why, thank you!


Homer August 9, 2011 at 8:36 pm

Now that’s what I call a SALAD! Scallops are my weakness, but I too am somewhat intimidated by the thought of cooking them. Hopefully, this post has given me the extra confidence I need!


Jen @ Keepitsimplefoods August 10, 2011 at 9:33 am

Go for it! :)


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