It’s happening. The cooler Spring weather took a sudden turn to blistering hot temperatures in the last couple of weeks. Don’t get me wrong. I love, love, love hot weather. Unfortunately, the lettuce greens in the garden don’t. So I’ve been eating 1-2 salads a day to make use of the lettuce before it bolts.
I grow lettuce, spinach, and arugula in my garden. These are cool weather crops that are planted early to enjoy during the cooler Spring days. Once the weather turns hot, it doesn’t take long for the bolting process to begin. Bolting happens, not only once the temperatures are consistently over 70 degrees during the day but with also once the temps are staying over 60 degrees at night.
It’s been in the upper 90’s here for a couple of weeks now so the lettuce’s days are numbered. There are ways to extend the length of the growing season, and as I get my growing business off the ground, that may be something I attempt. But as of right now, I just go with the flow of nature.
The bolting process is also enhanced by the mere number of daylight hours a lettuce plant gets. Sort of an internal timing process happens when a lettuce plant just knows it’s had it’s maximum number of daylight hours and the bolting process begins.
My lettuce is transitioning into this bolting stage.
This was my lettuce at it’s peak and most beautiful. I’ve been harvesting as much as possible to make the most of it. I hate wasting food, so I try very hard to eat what is in season especially when it’s something that really can’t be preserved long term.
So after a couple of weeks of this insane weather, and the added fact that my central air decided to go belly up in the middle of this heat, this was something I could make that didn’t heat up the house anymore than it already was.
I had these beautiful mixed lettuce leaves that I washed and spun in the salad spinner. How I ever survived without a salad spinner, I can’t even remember. I love this thing!
Strawberries are also in season right now. Although the strawberries’ days are numbered now too, they also were quite lovely.
Strawberries were also washed, hulled, sliced and added to the greens.
I also have garlic growing. But I still have a few bulbs from last season that I used in cooking the scallops.
I also can’t imagine a world without garlic.
These three things were the ingredients I grow myself that went into this recipe. I love it when I can make something happen by just walking out to the back yard garden!
Making of the Salad
So here’s the scoop.
I thawed and rinsed a package of Scallops. Yes frozen (gasp!) this is the Midwest not the East Coast. Then patted them dry with a paper towel.
Pour some olive oil in a cast iron skillet. I’m going to say I used about 2 tablespoons of olive oil. I always find it interesting when I see a recipe that calls for 1 tablespoon olive oil. Who are they kidding? 1 tablespoon doesn’t even cover the bottom of the skillet.
Then I added 2 cloves (one if your cloves are super large) minced garlic
and 1 tsp freshly grated ginger to the heated oil.
Now, lets clarify things for a moment. When I say “fresh” ginger, I mean ginger that I bought fresh but keep in my freezer so it will last longer. It grates easily from the frozen state. No thawing necessary. Then I put the unused portion back in the freezer for next time. Ginger is one of those things on my list to start growing.
Within in a couple of minutes, it looks a little mushy but it works just the same . . . promise.
Season the scallops with salt and pepper and add them to the skillet.
Cooking about 2 to 2 1/2 minutes on each side. Don’t over cook these . . . you’ll think you’re eating rubber if you do. Done well, they are deliciously tender morsels.
Add the sliced strawberries to the lettuce along with crumbled goat cheese. I had Honey Almond flavored which I purchased at our local Freight House Farmers Market.
Then added a few of the scallops on top.
Since I had made some poppy seed dressing the day before, that’s what I drizzled over the top. Strawberries and poppy seed dressing just go together. At least, my taste buds like that combo.
Pan Seared Scallops with Fresh Lettuce Greens
Serves 2 larger salads or 3-4 smaller salads.
- 12 oz package frozen sea scallops
- 1 large or 2 smaller cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tsp freshly grated ginger
- 2 Tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
- Fresh leaf lettuce greens
- Sliced strawberries
- Crumbled goat cheese (I had Honey Almond Goat Cheese)
- Dressing of your choice (I used poppy seed, but a citrusy vinaigrette would be nice too)
Cooking the Scallops
Thaw, rinse, and pat scallops dry. Pour the olive oil in a cast iron skillet. Once oil is heated, add the garlic and ginger to the oil.
Season the scallops with salt and pepper and add to the oil. Cook on each side about 2 minutes, give or take, till they are opaque in the center. Don’t over cook or they will become rubbery.
Divide the lettuce onto plates.
Top with sliced strawberries and crumbled goat cheese.
Add the scallops and drizzle with dressing.
Once again, I didn’t give too many measurements. That because most of the time, it isn’t really necessary to measure everything out. It’s a salad not rocket science. I know you’ve got this!
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