Seared Sea Scallops with Cucumber-Fennel Salad and Fennel Seed Vinaigrette
- 1 large cucumber
- 1 medium fennel bulb
- 3 tablespoons minced shallots, divided
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic, divided
- 1 tablespoon minced chives
- 3/4 cup rice wine vinegar, divided
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
- 3 tablespoons fennel seeds
- 1/2 cup grapeseed or peanut oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
- 6 (1-ounce) scallops
- Freshly ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- Garnish: fennel sprigs
- Peel cucumber; cut in half lengthwise, seed, and thinly slice.
- Trim and discard fennel bulb base. Trim stalks from bulb, discarding hard outside stalk. Cut bulb in half lengthwise, and cut crosswise into thin slices.
- Stir together fennel, cucumber, 2 tablespoons shallots, 1/2 tablespoon garlic, chives, 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar, olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; let stand at room temperature 1 hour.
- Place a small skillet over medium-high heat until hot; add fennel seeds, and cook, stirring constantly, 1 1/2 minutes or until toasted. (Be careful not to burn seeds; they will become bitter.)
- Remove from pan. Reduce heat to medium. Process seeds in a blender until ground; return to pan. Stir in 1/2 cup grapeseed oil. Remove from heat; cool to room temperature.
- Whisk together fennel-infused oil, remaining tablespoon shallots, remaining 1/2 tablespoon garlic, remaining 1/4 cup vinegar, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and orange juice; set aside.
- Sprinkle scallops with salt and pepper to taste. Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in skillet over high heat until very hot. Add scallops, and cook 2 minutes. Turn, and cook 1 minute.
- Arrange salad on individual plates; top each with a scallop. Whisk vinaigrette, and drizzle over salads. Garnish, if desired, and serve immediately.
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Seared Sea Scallops with Cucumber-Fennel Salad and Fennel Seed Vinaigrette Recipe at a Glance
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