Citrus Scallops with Avocado Salsa

Adapted from Cooking Light Magazine (August 2002)

Unless you are a very fast chopper, this is a Sunday dish. It takes more time than I typically have on an average harried weeknight, so I’m warning you now so you don’t come back to me saying you tried to make it on a Tuesday and dinner wasn’t on the table until practically bedtime. Now that I’ve got that out of the way, I can tell you that this is a dish I discovered shortly after I got married. It became a repeater and for a while, I made this every time we had a dinner guest. The flavors are perfect for winter when citrus fruits and avocado are in season, yet the dish is somehow summery and light. Since tomatoes are not a centerpiece of the salsa, don’t fret that they aren’t in season. I’ve been asked for this recipe quite a few times.

  • Scallops:
  • 1-1/2 pounds large sea scallops, rinsed, patted dry and cut in half horizontally
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Citrus Glaze:
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice (3 limes)
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice (1/2 orange)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (1/2 lemon)
  • 1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1 garlic glove, minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions, white and light green parts
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Salsa:
  • 1/2 cup chopped plum tomato (1 small)
  • 1/2 cup avocado, peeled and diced
  • 1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 garlic glove, minced
  • First, prepare the scallops. Heat a large, dry skillet over medium-high heat. Combine the scallops with the salt and pepper in a large bowl and toss. Once the skillet is hot, add the scallops to the pan and cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side. They should be nicely browned on the outside. Remove scallops from the skillet and keep them warm.
  • For the glaze, combine the citrus juices, ginger, honey, olive oil, red pepper and garlic in a small bowl. Whisk until combined. Using a dry paper towel, wipe out the skillet used for cooking the scallops. Heat the skillet over medium heat, add the juice mixture and cook until the glaze becomes thickened and shiny, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, pour the glaze over the scallops, then toss and add the scallions and cilantro.
  • For the salsa, combine all ingredients in a bowl and toss. Serve the scallops with the salsa on the side.
  • Quick Tips
  • 1. A few of the ingredients are required for both the glaze and the salsa. Set out two bowls and make them at the same time so that when you are mincing garlic or juicing lime, you only have to do it once.
  • 2. This dish goes very well with a side of steamed white rice. I like to mold it into a small cup or ramekin then invert it for a fun (and extremely easy) presentation.
  • 3. In the event that you have salsa left over, it keeps extremely well in the fridge overnight. The citrus juice prevents the avocado from getting brown and mushy.

Preparation time: 45 minute(s)

Cooking time: 15 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 4

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