Recipe by cookbook author Margaret Dickenson

Photo: Larry Dickenson

Breaded Scallop Salad with Sesame Balsamic Vinegar Sauce

If newly weds truly want to impress their guests, this appetizer salad is certain to do the trick. But don¹t save it strictly for entertaining. Rather, make it as a special treat for an intimate dinner for two.The recipe is simple yet truly amazing. Imagine crusty breaded bay scallops scattered on an array of crisp young salad leaves, then seductively drizzled with a mixture of balsamic vinegar syrup and sesame oil. The complexity of flavours, textures, colours, shapes and aromas is mesmerizing. Note: With the balsamic vinegar syrup prepared and on hand, the recipe can be done quickly. INGREDIENTS 1/3 cup (80 mL) Lightly Spiced Flour* 1/2 cup (125 mL) dry bread crumbs 1/4 to 1/3 tsp (1 to 2 mL) ground nutmeg To taste salt and crushed black peppercorns 1 egg, lightly beaten 5 cups (1.25 litres) fresh mixed young salad leaves 7 oz (200 g) bay scallops, very well drained 1 1/3 tbsp (20 mL) vegetable oil 1 1/3 tbsp (20 mL) butter SAUCE

1/2 cup (125 mL) balsamic vinegar 1/4 cup (60 mL) granulated sugar 1/3 cup (80 mL) sesame oil Garnish (optional) sprigs of fresh thyme fresh small edible flowers (e.g., icicle pansies or Johnny Jump-Ups)

1. To begin making the sauce, place balsamic vinegar and sugar in a small deep skillet over medium heat. Stir until sugar dissolves and mixture begins to boil. Lower heat to medium-low and allow mixture to simmer (stirring regularly) until it becomes a syrup and is reduced to 1/3 cup (80 mL). (This will take about 7 minutes.) Remove the balsamic vinegar syrup from heat and set aside to allow to cool.

2. Place the Lightly Spiced Flour in a medium-size zip-lock plastic bag. Taking two flat bowls, place the lightly beaten egg in one and the bread crumbs in another. Season the bread crumbs with nutmeg, salt andcrushed black peppercorns; toss.

3. Drop well drained scallops into plastic bag with spiced flour and close bag securely. Turn bag gently to coat scallops evenly.

4. Working in batches, bathe the dusted scallops in beaten egg and finally toss with seasoned bread crumbs. Arrange breaded scallops (well separated) on a parchment paper lined tray; cover loosely with wax paper and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to assist coating to stick more securely to scallops.

5. Just before serving, arrange salad leaves on 4 individual dinner plates (or on a platter).

6. Heat oil and butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add breaded scallops; fry until coating is golden brown and scallops are done (about 3 minutes). Drain on paper towels.

7. Meanwhile, whisk together balsamic vinegar syrup (from Step # 1) and sesame oil to form a Œsauce¹.

8. Artistically and gently drop scallops over salad leaves; then drizzle the sesame balsamic vinegar sauce over salad according to taste (e.g., 1 tbsp or 15 mL per serving).

9. If desired, sprinkle salad lightly with salt and crushed black peppercorns before garnishing with sprigs of fresh thyme and/or edible flowers. Decorate plates/platter with drops of remaining sauce.

10. Serve immediately. * To make Lightly Spiced Flour Combine 1/3 cup (80 mL) all-purpose flour, 1/2 tsp (3 mL) curry powder, 1/3 tsp (2 mL) of both crushed dried tarragon leaves and salt, as well as a pinch of crushed black peppercorns, garlic powder, ground nutmeg and powdered mustard.



I usually make a couple of cups of Lightly Spiced Flour at once, divide it into 1/3 cup (80 mL) portions and keep it on hand in the freezer.


About Margaret Dickenson

Margaret Dickenson is the author of the International award winning cookbook, Margaret¹s Table ­ Easy Cooking & Inspiring Entertaining, as well as creator and host of the TV series, Margaret’s Table. Visit

Category: FOOD & DRINK, Recipes