Pungent Greens Salad with Hot Bacon Dressing and Pan-Seared Scallops
Until not-so-long ago, no kitchen in the south would have been without one staple ingredient in the refrigerator: a coffee cup or coffee can in which the rendered bacon drippings were poured into and stored until called up on to flavor everything from collard greens to cornbread. The punch of flavor from the creamy, white agglomeration was undeniable. Used as a fat in a vinaigrette, bacon drippings accent salads with greens that hold a lot of flavor and minerality. The dressing is also good drizzled on sliced tomatoes, sautéed shrimp and German-style potato salad.
12 ounces of any combination of the following:
Baby beet greens
Hot Bacon Dressing
16 dry-pack sea scallops
4 teaspoons peanut oil
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 slices of bacon, chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped onion
1 garlic clove, finely minced
4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon sugar
Combine greens in a large bowl.
Wash scallops under cold water, pat dry, and season both sides with salt and pepper. In a medium sauté pan over high heat, add oil. Just when oil starts to smoke, carefully add scallops, a few at a time, careful not to crowd the pan. Sear one side of each scallop, about 1-2 minutes or until golden; a nice crust should appear. Turn and sear other side. Finished scallops can be held temporarily on a platter in a 200F oven while dressing is being made.
In a sauté pan, cook the bacon until crisp , remove from pan with slotted spoon, and reserve. In the fat remaining in the pan, add chopped onion and cook until onion until translucent, about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and stir for 15 seconds and remove the pan from the heat. Add vinegar and scrape all the brown bits in the pan. Add mustard, salt, pepper and sugar and stir.
Drizzle vinaigrette on greens and toss with tongs to coat salad. Top with scallops and crumbled bacon.