Hell-week is over and we’ve settled at the perfect-summer “hot during the day, cool at night” combo! Now this could go on for a couple of months, if I had to say anything in the matter… Oh well. Even though the temperatures might allow a couple of minutes in the kitchen right now, having a handful of edible aces up your sleeves for the really hot days never hurts, so I’ll stick to the general topic of “minimal stove-time” yummies, as promised.
Whenever I think about limiting stove-time to a minimum, seafoody options come to mind. Raw, cured, smoked, Cevice’d, cold-prepped in any way, that’s how I prefer my share of the sea’s bounty anyways. So, the time for something seafoody has arrived!
Once again, a stroll across the farmer’s market – in this particular case: the sight of a giant purple octopus arm, draped decoratively over a bowl of Frutti di Mare salad at an Italian antipasti stall – was responsible for a delicious Surf & Turf combination on our dinner plates. The resemblance between the arm’s vivid color and the color of the blueberries I had just bagged was… uncanny, making the idea the sight of it had planted in my mind – bringing those two together on one plate – simply irresistible. But, at around the same time that thought had crossed my mind, I could already see myself patching up the hubby-shaped hole in the front door, after approaching him with a plate of “tentacles with suction cups?!” – his words, not mine~! Still, I couldn’t let that one go. Browsing my options at the fishmonger’s stall, I decided to go with scallops for the occasion – of all the sea creatures that wouldn’t send hubby fleeing in terror, scallops are the ones most frequently combined with berries in our corner of the world – scallops and redcurrants being a classic. Now all that was left to do, was hammer out the details, and this is what came out of it at the end of the day: a well-loved, hubby approved surf & turf salad on the fancier side of things that, so far, has never failed to wow my crowd. Just on a side-note: after giving it a try, I can tell you, this one works deliciously well with thinly sliced “tentacles” as well, in case you’re not squeamish about them~! Anyways, on with the recipe~!
This one turns out best if you get it started about an hour or two before moving towards munch-time – the more time the dried blueberries have to give off their intense aroma, the better~
75g fresh Blueberries
1 heaped Tbsp dried Blueberries
1 Lemon, Juice and Zest of ½
1 Tsp Honey – more, to taste, in case the lemon added too much zing for your liking
1 Shallot, finely chopped
1 Tbsp Grapeseed Oil
2 heaped Tbsp Dijonaise
Alt: 1 1/2 Tbsp High-Quality Mayo and 2 Tsp Mild Mustard
Sea Salt and freshly cracked Black Pepper to taste
1) Place the dried blueberries in a small, preferably sealable container and add the lemon juice and grapeseed oil.
2) Treat the lot with a pinch of salt and good crack of your pepper mill, close the lid and give the container a hearty shake before setting it aside for a while.
3) Once you’re just about ready to pop the scallops into the pan, place the dried berry-mix in a stick-blender friendly high-rimmed container along with the rest of the ingredients and whizz them into a smooth and creamy dressing.
4) Have a taste and, if necessary, adjust the seasoning.
5) Place the container in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.
100g Mixed Lettuce Leaves
100g fresh Blueberries
1 Tsp Grapeseed Oil
Salt and freshly cracked Pepper
1) Set your trusty frying pan onto medium-high heat and give it about 3-5 mins to get up to speed.
2) Pat the scallops dry with a paper towel, then gently brush them with the oil.
3) Sprinkle them with a pinch of salt and pepper on both sides.
4) Flake the butter into the pan and, as soon as it’s melted and starts to bubble up, slide the scallops into the pan.
5) Fry them for 1 min on each side while basting the side facing up with the liquids in the pan.
6) Lightly shake the pan after about 20-30 secs to keep them from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
7) Don’t leave the scallops out of your sight for the short duration of their heated ordeal – they really need just 1 min per side, if they’re in for much longer, they’ll turn in a seafoody version of chewing gum.
8) Once they’re done, place them on a small plate, cover them with a sheet of baking parchment or aluminum foil to keep them cozy and set them aside in a warm place for the next couple of mins.
9) Divide the greens onto two plates and dot them with the berries.
10) Have a last taste-check on your dressing and distribute it on top of your leafy arrangements.
11) Arrange the scallops on top of your servings and get ready to dig in~!