Grilled scallops with mango and arugula salad

Scallops:  a sea-change of pace

Originally appeared in the June 09, 2011 edition of The Southside Times.

Next time you’re at the market scanning the seafood selection, bypass the usual suspects—the salmon, the tilapia, the shrimp—and try your culinary luck with scallops, what I consider to be an underused and undersung ocean edible.  Check out more here:Scallops are a bivalve mollusk, and the puck-shaped portion is a muscle which holds together two crinkled, fan-shaped shells (fun fact: you can calculate a scallop’s age by the number of rings on its top shell).  By and large, scallops are sold shucked, but (like all seafood) you need to be shrewd when making your selections as they’re highly perishable (use fresh scallops within 1 to 2 days); so inspect the color (white or ivory), aroma (odorless), and ensure that the flesh is firm.

Another item you need to scrutinize is the mango.  Goldilocks might offer the best advice: select a specimen that’s neither too hard nor too soft, but just right (or in this case, just ripe).  The mango offers a buttery sweetness to the dish, and works well with the salty prosciutto and the peppery arugula (aka “rocket”).  And while these supporting flavors of the salad may be exotically complex, the execution is anything but.

Scallops with mango and arugula salad

Serves 2

  • 6 thick sea scallops
  • As needed, olive oil
  • As needed, kosher alt and cracked black pepper
  • 2 ounces fresh arugula (or watercress), rough chop
  • 1 mango, peeled, sliced into batons
  • 2 slices of prosciutto, sliced thin


  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Zest from 1 lime
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • Pinch granulated sugar
  • Pinch kosher salt and cracked black pepper

1.  In a medium bowl, whisk together olive oil, zest, lime juice, sugar, salt and pepper.  Combine until mixture is slightly emulsified.  Set aside.

2.  Place scallops in a separate bowl, and gently coat with a small amount of olive oil.  Heat a grill or sauté pan to medium-high.  When surface is properly heated, sprinkle each scallop with salt and pepper and place on cooking surface.  Season the other side.  Allow scallops to cook for 3-4 minutes before flipping and cooking another 3-4 minutes.  Remove from heat, cover with foil and set aside.

3.  In another bowl, combine arugula, mango, and prosciutto.  Add a small amount of dressing to coat greens.  Add salad to plates, and top with three scallops each.  Serve with additional dressing if needed.

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