Sunday, March 3, 2013

Scallops Salad With Kale Pesto And Goat Cheese

Scallops Salad With Kale Pesto And Goat Cheese recipe

At the beginning of March I always start thinking {and not in a positive way} about the season that is just around the corner - swimsuit season.  While the winters in my neck of the woods only feature showers here and there and occasional low temperatures in the 50's {even 40's a few times} I still tend to sink into winter behavior. I hope we are kindred spirits and you know what I am talking about. Using the weather as an excuse to skip exercise, getting a little lax on portion control, allowing comfort food to be more than an occasional indulgence. So I decided to prepare a healthy salad for dinner. It had to be one that seemed like an entree, versus a punishingly boring chopped salad. When I came across this recipe and the words "kale pesto" I knew I had found dinner. A colorful, crunchy blend of vegetables, plump and juicy seared scallops, a sprinkling of rich creamy goat cheese and the magic ingredient, kale pesto. 


Once I prepared our plates {for the 2 of us I cut the recipe below in half and we still had leftovers} we mixed up everything before digging in. The distribution of the pesto makes every bite an absolute joy. And...you'll have leftover pesto. I read that the pesto can be spooned into ice cube trays and covered and frozen for different uses. So many ways to use it in the future. A base for pizza topped with sliced tomatoes and cheese? A way to elevate homemade tomato sauce? Or maybe a spread for roasted fish? Until then, kale pesto is the secret sauce that makes this salad so ridiculously yummy.

Scallops Salad With Kale Pesto And Goat Cheese

3 T olive oil
16 sea scallops
salt and freshly ground pepper
8-10 oz cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in halves
3 bell peppers {red, yellow and orange}, chopped
2 c corn kernels {this time of year I had to use frozen corn, but I can't wait to make this again using fresh off the cob}
1 cucumber, thinly sliced
1 jalapeno, thinl sliced
1 shallot, thinly sliced
2 c baby spinach
1/4 c olive oil
3 T champagne vinegar
4 oz goat cheese, crumbled
- and for the kale pesto
4 c stemmed, chopped lacinato kale
1/2 c grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
6 T olive oil
1/4 c pine nuts
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 t salt
1/4 t red pepper flakes

To make the kale pesto, add all the kale pesto ingredients in a food processor and process until you have a uniform paste.  Set aside.

Heat 3 T olive oil in a skillet over medium - high heat. Pat the scallops dry and season with salt and pepper. Sear the scallops on both sides for 1 to 2 minutes, being careful not to overcook. Remove from heat and transfer to a platter.

In a bowl, whisk together 1/4 c olive oil, the champagne vinegar and salt and pepper to taste.

In a large bowl, add the 7 vegetables and drizzle with desired amount of dressing.  Toss.

To serve, divide salad among 4 plates. Add the scallops and garnish each scallop with a generous 1 t of pesto. Sprinkle goat cheese on top.

Serves 4.
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Source:  True Food, Dr. Andrew Weil

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