What do these ingredients have in common?
Why they are most of what goes into like my most favorite salad ever!!
Yum, right? They say you ” eat with your eyes” first, so I love meals that are brightly colored like this salad, with a variety of textures and flavors that work so well together. This salad is basically summer in a bowl. A bright, crunchy, salty, sweet, creamy, tangy bowl of summer. It looks good enough to eat!!
Let’s talk about scallops. Love em or no? Me? I LOVE. Especially the big fat diver’s scallops. Favorite way to cook is grilled. My husband’s trick to perfect scallops is heat the grill HOT, scrape it down clean, oil the grill, lower heat and place DRY scallops ( seasoned with salt and pepper) on the grill. Cook, turning only once until just cooked through. This way makes them come out perfect every time and they don’t stick to the grill. I hate it when that happens. No donating scallops to the grill gods.
Now lets talk about the dressing. My mom has this boutique olive oil and vinegar store near her house, called Olive U Naturally, and brings us different flavors once in a while. I have had this coconut balsamic in my pantry and wasn’t quite sure what to make it with. I roasted sweet potatoes with it ( and ate it all up before I could take pics to blog about so that will be happening again soon because that is a recipe I need to share with y’all) and I have used it now as a salad dressing. This dressing is my go-to vinaigrette when making any light salads, especially seafood salads. I just swapped the white wine vinegar for the coconut and OH WOW. So good. I also use my magic bullet blender when making small batches of dressing. Like I did for this salad. Makes for 2 perfect servings.
Now for my mango cutting “tutorial” before we build this salad.
My kids LOVE mango. Like I need 10 mango trees to support their habit. I would dig that too, all the fresh mango
margaritas that I can handle. And they love it when I cut up a mango like this “restaurant style”. This way it makes the mango a more portable snack. Plus it just looks cool. Just make sure to barely scrape along the inside of the peel when cutting so you don’t cut through it.
Now lets build this salad
I love these salad dishes I got from Sur La Table. I want to go back and get the rest of the set, my normal every day dinnerware has seen better days. So I start with a mixture of baby lettuce mix and baby arugula. I love the peppery bite from the arugula. Then I add thinly sliced red onion. The thinner the better. At least that is how I like it. Any greens combo or lettuce type will work as your salad base.
Almost finished!! I let the scallops cool a little before adding to the salad. On salads, I prefer the protein to not be super hot, but not cold either. It has to be “juuuuust right” you know, like Goldilocks would like
One of the textures I love in salads is “crunch” and my crunch for this salad is toasted coconut. I literally have a gallon bucket of unsweetened, organic coconut chips from Tropical Traditions in my pantry. I make homemade coconut butter and coconut milk with it as well as toast it up for baked goodies and salads. I toast mine on a pan over low heat stirring often so it doesn’t burn.
And finally the vinaigrette. Its a really light, refreshing dressing that I also use for marinades for chicken and shrimp and with swapping out the usual white wine vinegar for the coconut really makes it perfect for this salad.
- For the salad
- 10-12 cups of salad mix (baby lettuce and arugula is what I used)
- 1 firm but ripe avocado, cubed
- 1c red grape or small cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
- 1 c bell pepper, diced (I use red)
- ¼ red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 medium mango, cubed
- 4tbsp toasted coconut flakes (unsweetened)
- 1 lb large divers scallops ( about 10), rinsed and dried
- Sea salt and pepper
- For the dressing
- 4-6 tbsp grapeseed oil
- Zest and juice of one lime
- 2 tsp honey
- 2 tbsp coconut balsamic vinegar (or white balsamic or white wine vinegar)
- 4 tbsp roughly chopped cilantro
- Sea salt and ground black pepper to taste
- Preheat the grill and prep with oil so the scallops don’t stick
- Toast the coconut in a skillet on the stove stirring for 3-5 min until starting to brown. Don’t burn!!
- Prepare the dressing. Combine all the ingredients in a blender or magic bullet and blend well. Set aside
- Set out two large salad bowls and divide the lettuce between the two, divide the toppings amongst them as well.
- Rinse and pat dry the scallops, season with salt and pepper. Place on the preheated, seasoned grill and cook 2-3 min, Turn and cook another 2-3 min or until cooked through. Remove from grill and let cool for a minute or two
- Divide the scallops between the salads and top with the toasted coconut and drizzle with the dressing.
Take a bite. You know you want to!