Warm Scallop Salad with Tomato, Mint, and Lime Dressing

6 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons shallot, inced
1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 cups tomatoes, peeled, seeded, 1/4 inch dice
1 1/2 tablespoons mint, finely chopped
12 ounces, scallops, well drained and patted dry
2 tablespoons olive oil
/2 cup jicama, peeled and julienned
2 watercress bunches, large stems removed

  1. Heat the olive oil. Saute the shallots until soft, but do not brown.
  2. Add the lime juice, salt, and pepper; remove from heat. Combine with remaining dressing ingredients.
  3. If using sea scallops, remove the small whit muscle. If scallops are 1 inch in diameter or larger, cut the scallop in half, lengthwise, before using.
  4. Heat the olive oil. Add the scallops and saute over medium-high heat, turning often. They should be just cooked, slightly translucent in the middle (about 3 min each side for larger scallops). Remove from heat.
  5. Pour half of the dressing over the warm scallops in the pan. Correct seasoning and keep warm
  6. Divide the watercress evenly among plates. Place the scallops with dressing in the center of the watercress.
  7. Sprinkle the jicama over the salad. Spoon additional dressing onto the plate.

Chef: Jicama should be dressed, the greens have a good amount, they are tossed and shiny, but not overdone. Taste is good, nice color to scallop, sear on outside, but translucent inside. Could have gone a little longer on the sear for more color.

Personal/Team: I loved the scallop, but the watercress seemed bitter to me. For some reason, the jicama helped reduce the bitter flavor, but I still would have preferred a different type of green. Dressing was nice and light and went well with the warm scallop.

Lessons Learned: You need to be careful when cooking scallops to not over cook them or they will get rubbery, but at the same time, you can't be afraid to use heat and give them some color. Preference is going to vary, so it will be hard to please everyone. My teammate felt the scallops tasted "raw" and I thought they were perfect. By using the word "seared" you give the expectation that the outside will be cooked and inside less so. This will set up expectations for the customer.