For the past week we've been having unseasonably hot weather here in the Carolinas with temperatures soaring into the mid to upper nineties - WHEW!! I'm just not ready for this type of extreme heat! One thing I do love about summer though, is the abundance of delicious fresh fruits that are available. Mangos, blueberries and avocados are plentiful and cheap right now so they've been popping up here there and everywhere in my culinary escapades as I'm trying to use them in every way imaginable while their in they're prime.
For a light lunch over the weekend, I served these Pan Seared Scallops on top of a "cylinder" of Perfect Jasmine Rice, surrounded by a salsa of summer fruit. It was light, simple to prepare and, I must admit.... a lovely sight to behold! I truly believe that we taste with our eyes before the food ever hits our mouths - I just can't decide whether my eyes or my taste buds were more crazy about this fabulous lunch! The Chile-Honey-Lime Vinaigrette drizzled over the fruit, scallops and rice tower was the perfect touch, giving a sweet, flavorful finish with just a hint of heat. This would also make a delicious appetizer or a lovely, healthy dinner by just varying the portion size.
I used pineapple, mangos and blueberries but other seasonal fresh fruit would be just as delicious. Shrimp, crab or even lobster for a special treat could be used in place of the scallops. If you're more a brown-rice-type, just switch it up. I like to think of recipes like this as "template recipes" meaning that, you can take the basic skeleton of the recipe and change the ingredients to suit your taste. Have fun!
Pan Seared Scallops with Summer Fruit Salsa & Chile-Honey-Lime Vinaigrette
1 ½ pounds scallops
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon finely grated zest and 3 tablespoons juice from 1 to 2 limes
2-3 teaspoons sriracha sauce (depending on how hot you like it)
3 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons fish sauce (available in the oriental section of most grocery stores)
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon ginger-garlic paste, or 1 clove garlic and 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh ginger
2 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped
⅓ cup vegetable oil
FOR FRUIT SALSA
2 cups seasonal fresh fruit, chopped into 1/2 inch dice, I used blueberries (whole), pineapple and mango but feel free to use whatever you prefer or what is freshest at the market
½ cup red onion, finely chopped
1 medium avacado, peeled, seeded and chopped in small dice
1 tablespoon cilantro, finely chopped
2 tablespoons Chile-Honey-Lime Vinaigrette
1. For vinaigrette, whisk together all ingredients except oil. Whisking constantly, slowly drizzle in oil until combined.
2. For scallops, dry scallops with a paper towel. Combine smoked paprika, coriander, sugar, sea salt and pepper. Sprinkle spice mix over scallops on both sides. Heat olive oil in a large saute pan over medium high heat. When oil is hot but not smoking, tilt pan to cover entire surface with oil. Add scallops and saute for 2 minutes per side or until golden. Remove from heat.
3. For fruit salsa, combine all ingredients. Add 2 tablespoons of Chile-Honey-Lime Vinaigrette stir gently.
4. To serve, arrange scallops on top of Perfect Jasmine Rice, surround with Summer Fruit Salsa, and drizzle Chile- Honey-Lime Vinaigrette over scallops.
Chile-Honey-Lime Vinaigrette adapted from Cooks Illustrated
Serves 4 as a main course