June 04, 2006

Jamie Oliver’s Pan Seared Scallops with Crispy Bacon and Sage Salad

This past weekend my friend Gemma hosted our group of friends at her place for the weekend in honor of our friend, Allison, who is sadly moving to San Francisco. Despite the rain, we made it through a Met’s game at Shea Stadium (well, through the 6th inning—it was pretty cold). Then Gemma surprised us with a nice dinner for the evening—just what we were in the mood for! What a great way to spend some time with a friend who is moving, where we can just eat at our leisure and hang out all night talking.

Since the weekend was in honor of Allison, Gemma asked her to choose the menu. Allison’s choice for the entrée was Jamie Oliver’s Pan Seared Scallops with Crispy Bacon and Sage Salad. Evidently Gemma has made this dish for Allison in the past, and it is her favorite.

After we munched on a selection of olives, Italian cheese, and smoked sausage; dinner was served. I can understand why this dish is Allison’s favorite. There are a lot of flavors layered into the salad that compliment one another very well. The salad is also relatively light for a summer meal, yet has a bold, warm flavor.

To make this dish yourself, the following is the recipe (for 4 servings):
  • 12 thin slices of streaky bacon or pancetta
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 8 leaves of fresh sage per person
  • 12 scallops
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 8 heaping tbsp cooked lentils
  • 4 large handfuls of green salad leaves
  • Olive oil and lemon juice dressing
  1. Fry the bacon or pancetta in a small amount of olive oil in a hot pan.
  2. When the bacon or pancetta is nearly ready, add the sage. The bacon and sage will cook and crisp up at about the same time.
  3. Once they are cooked, take them out of the pan and place them onto some paper towels to drain.
  4. Put the pan back on the heat and, when it is very hot, add a little drizzle of oil and fry the seasoned scallops.
  5. These will take about a minute each side; the skin will go slightly crisp and golden brown.
  6. When both sides of the scallops are cooked, squeeze the lemon juice over the top and give them a stir. This will start to caramelize the outside skin even more.
  7. Take the scallops out of the pan and put them into a dish.
  8. Using the same pan reheat the lentils.
  9. Dress the salad leaves with the olive oil and lemon dressing and divide between 4 plates.
  10. Sprinkle the crispy bacon and the crispy sage leaves over the 4 salad plates. Then place the scallops around the salad.
  11. When your lentils are hot just sprinkle on top.
Enjoy!

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