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Winter Salad with Grapefruit and Seared Scallops (c)2013 La Domestique

I love a fresh start. A clean slate. A chance to begin anew. I don’t make resolutions for the New Year, but I do become quieter and more thoughtful. After all the holiday parties and visiting, it’s nice to retreat to my nest with the husband. I’ve been thinking a lot about where I’ve been and where I’m headed in the next year (haven’t we all?). 2012 was my first year earning an income as a freelance writer and photographer, and it’s been a tough (but rewarding) learning curve. I leapt before I looked most of the time, which made for many unique experiences that helped me grow quickly, maybe even too quickly. Because of this I can see I need to go back and attend to the details. I’ve got to slow down and focus on the quality of my work, rather than the quantity. That’s ok, though. I wake up with bright eyes and an open heart, because I still have SO MUCH TO LEARN. My thirst for life cannot be quenched.

Do you follow the blog, Age-Old Tree? Ever since I read Ann Marie’s post on choosing a “wild word” to guide you throughout the year, I’ve been trying to find my own. I thought long and hard about it, and nothing spoke to me. As I wrote this post, my word revealed itself:

hone:

to sharpen or smooth with a whetstone. {Merriam-Webster Dictionary}

Like a fine Japanese knife, let my jagged edges to be smoothed and the angle of my blade be made precise. Let it done the old-fashioned way, by the sweat of my brow and the pressure of a stone. I’m dedicating 2013 to a year of personal and professional growth. For me this means pulling away from the crowd, putting my head down, and pushing to force the very best from myself. It’s also about focusing on what I have to give this world. To go out there and just give, give, give.

Have you set an intention for 2013? Please do share it in the comments section. Click Here.

Winter Salad with Grapefruit and Seared Scallops (c)2013 La Domestique

 Seared Scallops (c)2013 La Domestique

Winter Salad with Grapefruit and Seared Scallops

A winter salad can be just as refreshing as a summer salad. Creating a spectacular salad without the help of a ripe and juicy tomato is not only satisfying – it’s pure luxury. For this recipe, any fresh salad greens will do, but red leaf lettuce lends dramatic color paired with slices of pink grapefruit. Briny black olives and citrus are a classic pairing and nicely compliments the sweet, rich scallops.  Fresh herbs like mint and chives contribute bright flavor and marinated fennel is crisp and slightly crunchy. Grapefruit juice, spicy ginger, and a little honey make for a zippy vinaigrette that’s sure to wake your taste buds from winter hibernation. This winter salad for two manages to be light yet filling at the same time, providing you the energy to get out there and give your best to 2013.

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1 grapefruit
  • 1 teaspoon champagne vinegar
  • A 1-inch piece of fresh gingerroot, peeled and finely grated
  • ½ teaspoon honey
  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 fennel bulb
  • About half a head of red leaf lettuce, 2 ounces
  • ¼ cup sliced black olives
  • 1 tablespoon fresh mint leaves, torn into small pieces
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
  • 4 Sea Scallops
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Prepare the grapefruit by removing the peel. Cut off the stem end and the base end. Place the grapefruit sitting flat on the counter. Slice the peel away from the flesh, being careful to remove all white pith from the outside. Working over a bowl to catch the juices, slice between the membranes to remove each piece of grapefruit. You’ll need only 6-8 slices to set aside for the salad. Squeeze the juice from the rest of the grapefruit to use in the vinaigrette and discard the leftovers.

Make the vinaigrette. Add the champagne vinegar, ginger, honey and a pinch of sea salt to the grapefruit juice. Pour in vegetable oil gradually while whisking to emulsify the vinaigrette. Taste occasionally until the flavor of the vinaigrette is balanced to your liking – you may use up to ¼ cup vegetable oil.

Prepare the fennel by slicing off the tops and root base, discarding them. Cut the bulb in half vertically and remove the hard, inedible core. Slice the remaining fennel bulb as thinly as you can, then place the slices in a small bowl with a splash of the vinaigrette. Allow the fennel to soften in the vinaigrette while you prepare the rest of the salad.

Cook the scallops. Heat a skillet on medium-high. Once the skillet is warm, add just enough vegetable oil to coat the bottom (about 1 tablespoon). Rinse the scallops to get rid of any sand, then pat them very dry with a paper towel and season with sea salt. Once the oil is hot, place the scallops in the skillet. Cook for two minutes, until browned, then carefully flip the scallops and cook for a couple minutes more, until browned and just cooked through.

In a medium bowl, combine the sliced fennel, red leaf lettuce, mint, chives and black olives. Whisk the vinaigrette, making sure it is still well emulsified, then pour it over the salad. Taste the salad and season with salt and pepper as needed. Divide the salad amongst two plates and top each with 3-4 sliced grapefruit segments and warm scallops. Serve immediately.

Ingredients for Winter Salad with Grapefruit and Seared Scallops (c)2013 La Domestique