It’s too hot for words today, and besides, any words I do have must be reserved for actual paycheck-type work, assignments that come from editors and have deadlines and some days feel a little like homework. OK, a lot. Not that I’m complaining. If I didn’t have homework looming, I’d never get things like laundry and dusting done. Wait – I don’t.
I came across this recipe in the Calgary Stampede Centennial Cookbook, which seemed fitting this week. It’s the sort of thing I’d most often flip by, but this time I decided to give it a go, and was glad I did. The seared scallops (I skipped the wasabi) were divine, and I’d never have thought to make a creamy dressing out of fresh peppery arugula and Key lime juice. I love an interesting salad, one that counts as dinner without feeling like “just a salad”, and this is one.
Don’t you think Stampede should have an intermission? Maybe a day or two? I vote yes.
Toni’s Arugula Salad with Pistachio-Crusted Scallops
Adapted (slightly!) from Come n’ Get It! The Calgary Stampede Centennial Cookbook, submitted by Toni Dixon, Director, Calgary Stampede
1 mango, pitted and diced
a handful of flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
a small chunk of purple onion, finely chopped
juice of half a lime
Key Lime Dressing:
1 cup fresh arugula
1/4 cup lime juice
1/2 cup canola or grapeseed oil
2 Key limes, halved and squeezed
2 tsp. grainy Dijon
1 1/2 tsp. honey
pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. mayo
1 tsp. wasabi paste (optional)
1/4-1/2 cup shelled pistachios, chopped or crushed
1 tub arugula
1 ripe avocado, pitted and sliced
Make the salsa and dressing first: toss all the salsa ingredients together in a bowl and set aside. Place all the dressing ingredients in a blender (or tall container if you have a hand-held immersion blender) and whiz until smooth and emulsified. It will be a creamy pale green.
Pat the scallops dry with a paper towel and heat a heavy skillet over medium-high heat with a drizzle of canola oil. Mix the mayo and wasabi paste and spread over each scallop; place the pistachios in a shallow dish and dip the scallops in to coat on both sides. Sear in the skillet for a minute or two per side, or just until cooked. Set aside on a plate.
Arrange the arugula on a platter and place the salsa and avocado over top. Set the cooked scallops on top, along with any rogue pistachios from the pan, and drizzle with dressing. Serve immediately. Serves 4-6.