Warm bay scallop salad with zucchini, asparagus and a lemon shallot vinaigrette. A quick to make salad using a just few ingredients for a light and delicious meal.
I am so excited it is finally officially spring! It means two things to me, one season closer to summer AND a lot more variety of produce at the farmers markets and stores so I can make salads like this SUPER easy and healthy bay scallop salad.
I LOVE salads. And not just “lettuce in a bowl” which my husband likes to call my sometimes lazy way to make a salad. But a bowl of a wide variety of veggies and flavors I absolutely love. Since spring in most of the country doesn’t quite seem like spring yet because of the still snowy weather, warm salads hit the spot for sure.
Scallops are a fave seafood of mine, especially the big diver’s scallop, but those aren’t always in my budget. This salad gets me my scallop fix while being wallet friendly. Bay scallops are easy to overcook and turn into something resembling a pencil eraser, this recipe cooks them just enough so where you won’t be chewing for three hours on just one bite.
I love when the tomatoes are starting to ripen in our garden and I can pick enough for a recipe before my kids eat them all. These get cooked oh so slightly, if you are making this salad cold, no need to cook the tomatoes.
This salad uses some of my favorite vegetables, zucchini and asparagus. I love how versatile zucchini is, and that is why we plant it in our garden every year. We have yet to try growing asparagus.
A few notes about this recipe first:
- This salad can be served warm or cold, I prefer warm. I also used a veggie peeler to slice the zucchini and asparagus because I find that easier to get thin strips than using a mandoline or spiral slicer. It also is safer for my fingers, especially not using a mandoline. That thing scares me.
- If you can find fresh scallops use those, if not frozen are fine, just thaw first before cooking. I will thaw in the bag, drain and place on a paper towel lined plate to get the excess water out of the scallops.
- Don’t care for zucchini or asparagus feel free to use whatever veggies you like
- This salad can be made ahead of time if serving cold, just keep covered and chilled until ready to serve
- If you are making this salad as a cold salad, add in the tomatoes once everything else is cooked. No need to cook them.
- You can make the vinaigrette ahead of time as well. Keep chilled until ready to use and shake well before using if serving a cold salad. If making the salad warm make it the same time as the salad as stated in the recipe.
- For the salad:
- 2 lbs bay scallops, if previously frozen, thaw first
- 4 medium zucchini ( about a pound and a half)
- 1 lb asparagus
- 1 lb cherry tomatoes
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper
For the Vinaigrette
- 2 Tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
- 1/3 cup shallots, finely diced (2 whole shallots, depends on size)
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tbsp lemon zest
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1/3 c good olive oil
- 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/4-1/2 tsp tsp red pepper flakes
- Parmesan or Romano cheese, for garnish
- Prepare the scallops and vegetables:
- If using frozen scallops, thaw, rinse and pat dry the bay scallops well. Set aside on a paper towel lined plate to dry a little more. If using fresh just rinse than set on the paper towel lined plate. *
- Trim the ends off the zucchini and slice thin on one side with a vegetable peeler. When you reach the seeds in the center, flip over and peel again until you reach the center. Repeat with all zucchini. Snap the bottoms off the asparagus and peel with a vegetable peeler in the same fashion as the zucchini. Slice the tomatoes in half.
- Make the Vinaigrette:
- In a large pan heat the ghee and add the shallots, garlic, one tablespoon each of the lemon zest and juice. Saute until fragrant and the shallots are starting to caramelize, 2- 3 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool slightly. Put into a small blender or food processor and add in the oil, vinegar, mustard. Pulse to mix. Add in the salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.
- In the same pan that the shallot mixture was cooked in add in the tablespoon of oil then add in the scallops and sauté for 3 minutes. Then add in the zucchini and asparagus and sauté for 2 minutes then add in the tomatoes. Once the tomatoes start to soften, about 1-2 minutes remove from the heat, season with a little salt and pepper then divide amongst four bowls.
- Pour some of the lemon vinaigrette over the tops of the salads, toss lightly. Top salads with shaved parmesan or romano cheese. Serve immediately.
*I will thaw frozen scallops in the bag with cool water. This takes about 5-7 minutes to do since bay scallops are small and thaw quickly. This will add on a few more minutes of time to the recipe. I will do this while I prepare the vegetables and vinaigrette.
So there you have it. Warm bay scallop salad. One of my favorite springtime recipes, a warm scallop salad, with my some of my favorite veggies and its super quick to make for a fast weeknight meal that’s a little on the lighter side. This way you can an enjoy a cookie afterwards. Because I said so.