Is it spring yet?? Living in Chicago, we seem to always get this one last week-long winter blast that kills all the budding plants and flowers and literally makes the entire city miserable. Well I think, hopefully, that we are past that and warmer days are ahead, which is why I felt inspired to make this Almond Crusted Scallops and Spring Salad recipe. With the red grapefruit, endive, shaved fennel, asparagus, and hint of white wine vinegar, the salad in this dish screams spring, and I couldn’t be happier. I know it may seem weird to some who read this, but, man, I can’t wait to be able to go outside without a jacket. Starting to feel my struggle yet?
I always enjoy going out to eat after a long winter and noticing the menu changes that reflect springtime ingredients, because to me that means the availability of fresh produce is changing. Don’t get me wrong, I love winter veggies and fruits, but after four months or so I’m ready for a switch. This light fresh spring salad is incredibly easy to make, but it starts with prepping up all of the vegetables. Be sure to shave the fennel thin, perhaps with a mandolin, or even try using a peeler. Next, segment the grapefruit, slice the endive, blanch and chill the asparagus, and keep everything cool until it’s time to serve.
Now let’s move on to the scallops. I chose these crazy huge U-12 sea scallops. If you’re wondering what U-12 means, it’s referencing how many scallops it would take to reach 1 pound. So, roughly 12 of these scallops equals a pound; You’re welcome! I like larger scallops because they seem meatier to me than bay scallops and will hold the almond crust better too. To prepare the scallops, remove the little side muscle, better known as the foot, since it can be really chewy, and discard it. Now season up the scallops on all sides with salt and pepper and coat them in Bob’s Red Mill Almond Flour and press them in and set them aside before cooking. Bob’s Almond Flour is finely ground, making it perfect to coat these scallops, or any seafood, on all sides, literally covering every square centimeter of the surface area, ensuring you get the same delicious bite all the way through!
Next on the agenda is to fire up a large sauté pan on high heat and add in some cold olive oil. Once the oil begins to smoke, turn the heat down to medium-high and add in the almond crusted scallops and sauté. To help brown the scallops, add in a few pads of unsalted butter and baste using a spoon. Scallops actually will cook quicker than you think, so check them after 2 minutes or so to make sure they are browned before turning over. At this point you can finish them in the oven on 400°F for 6 to 8 minutes, or continue to cook them right on the cook top until your desired internal temperature is achieved. Just as an FYI, scallops should never be well done, think more on the medium side of things for a perfect scallop.
Finally, to complete our dish we need to toss around the vegetables with a little bit of white wine vinegar, salt, and pepper, and then it’s time to eat! If you’re wondering what those little green leaves are, they are micro-greens, which can literally be purchased at almost any grocery store. Lastly, top off this beautiful easy-to-make Almond Crusted Scallops and Spring Salad recipe with a little goat cheese.
!!! If you have any questions at all regarding this recipe or others, you know where to find me.
Almond Crusted Scallops and Spring Salad
For the salad:
For the scallops:
- 2 Grapefruit, segmented
- ½ Fennel Bulb, thinly shaven
- 2 Belgian Endive, sliced
- 1 bunch Asparagus, roasted or blanched and cut into thirds
- 2 tsp White Wine Vinegar
- ¼ cup Micro-Greens
- 1 Tbsp Chives, thinly sliced
- Goat Cheese crumbles for garnish
- Kosher Salt and Fresh Cracked Pepper to taste
Serves 3 to 4
- 1 lb Large Sea Scallops, foot removed
- 1 ½ cups Bob’s Red Mill Almond Meal Flour
- 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 3 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
- Kosher Salt and Fresh Cracked Pepper to taste
In a large bowl toss together the grapefruit, fennel, endive, asparagus, vinegar, micro-greens, chives, and salt and pepper until combined. Set aside and keep cool.
Add the almond meal to a bowl and set aside.
Season the scallops on all sides with salt and pepper and dredge them in the almond meal, making sure to coat on all sides by pressing down on them. Set aside on parchment paper.
Add the olive oil to a large sauté pan on high heat and sear the scallops for 2-3 minutes, or until golden brown, and flip over. Add in the butter at the beginning to help brown and flavor.
Continue cooking the scallops on the other side for a further 3-4 minutes, or until the desired internal temperature has been achieved.
Once the scallops are done cooking, serve them over the top of the spring salad and sprinkle on some goat cheese.
Hello, I’m Billy Parisi, but to some I’m known as “Chef Billy Parisi.” I do a little bit of this and a little bit of that, but for the most part I’m a Food & Content Creator, Sometimes TV Host, Digital and Social Strategist, Influencer, Picture Taker, Coffee Drinker, Daddy, Husband, College Sports Enthusiast, Fashionisto, Film & Music Lover!
I’ve been in the kitchen since I started washing dishes in a restaurant at the age of 13, and during that time I knew immediately that I wanted to be a chef. I graduated from Arizona’s Scottsdale Culinary Institute and the University of Missouri, and have logged several years as line cook, sous chef, and executive in some of the Midwest’s finest restaurants. I currently live in the city of Chicago with my wife Lindsay and daughter Olivia and cook up new inventions, mash-ups, fusions, and twists on old classics. I’m incredibly spontaneous and outgoing, and run two small businesses, BPMVC, and my latest venture, 5 Loaves 2 Fish!