Spring is just around the corner, or so I keep reassuring myself. Without fail, there comes a very precise moment towards the tail end of winter where my body screams “Stop! No more soup! Please, please give me a glimpse of summer, and feed me something light and refreshing!” That moment generally occurs sometime between my mother waxing poetic over the daffodils popping up back home and me staring out at my barren vegetable patch, yearning to get my hands dirty, but knowing it’s far too early to tempt fate by planting anything. My brain is telling me it’s still winter, but my body is, quite frankly, over it. That moment just happened to be last week for me.
The fresh bursts of flavor found in this cool, summery meal are a welcome shift from the usual heavier fare we commonly rely on in the colder months. And while it may almost seem out of place in February, winter is actually an ideal time to prepare it, as it is peak season for citrus fruits and avocados. Though quality specimens are available year round, it’s this time of year when their flavors are most pronounced and vibrant, plus you will undoubtedly find them on sale or cheaper than other times of the year. In this salad, the sweetness of sea scallops is accented beautifully by the rich, creamy avocado and the bright, tangy punch of grapefruit, but it would work equally well topped with a grilled halibut filet or other meaty fish. Alternately, you can use blood oranges in place of the grapefruit, or even an assortment of different citrus if you like.
4–12 sea scallops, depending on size (the big one in this picture weighed a hefty 3 oz., and was the perfect size for my lunch! For a more substantial meal, I suggest 3 smaller scallops per serving)
2 pink grapefruit
2 large avocado
1 teaspoon white wine or Champagne vinegar
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1. Prepare grapefruit: Cut both core ends from fruit, and set fruit on a cutting board, cut side down. Following the curve of the grapefruit, cut off the skin and white pith. Over a bowl, cut in between the grapefruit membranes to release each individual section. Squeeze juice from grapefruit membranes into bowl. Pour 3 tablespoons juice into a measuring cup. Set aside.
2. Remove avocado from shell, remove pit, and slice avocado about 1/4 inch thick. Drizzle with a little grapefruit juice, sprinkle with salt, and toss gently to coat. This will prevent it from browning. Set aside.
3. Add vinegar to grapefruit juice in measuring cup. Slowly drizzle in 3 tablespoons oil, whisking to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
4. Arrange avocado and grapefruit among serving plates. Drizzle lightly with dressing.
5. Pat scallops dry with paper towel, and season with salt and pepper. Heat a heavy, well-seasoned pan until very hot. Add a drizzle of olive oil and heat through. Sear scallops, without turning, until deeply browned on one side, about 2 minutes. Carefully turn each scallop over and continue cooking on the other side until deeply browned and cooked through, about 2–3 minutes. Place 1–3 scallops per plate atop grapefruit-avocado salad. Drizzle with additional dressing. Garnish with chopped cilantro.
To choose your organically grown and fresh ingredients wisely, use the following criteria:
·chemical- and hormone-free meat
·pastured-raised, organic eggs
·whole, unrefined grains
·virgin, unrefined, first-press organic oils
·whole-food, unrefined sweeteners
·pure, clean, spring water
·raw and/or cultured milk and cream products