- 2 Tbsp whole black peppercorns
- 2 tsp white peppercorns
- 1 tsp cayenne
- 2 tsp cumin seed
- 1/4 cup paprika
- 2 Tbsp kosher or sea salt
- Optional: 1 cup of mixed dried Italian herbs
- 2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup sherry vinegar
- 1 medium shallot, peeled and chopped fine
- Salt and freshly-ground white pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup walnut oil
- 1 16-oz bottle of balsamic vinegar
- 2 lbs mixed field greens, washed and dried carefully
- Olive oil for frying scallops
- 16-20 large sea scallops
Blackening Spice Mix:
Combine ingredients and grind into a dust in a spice mill, small coffee grinder, or food processor.
Place balsamic vinegar in small saucepan and bring to a full boil.
Lower heat to medium and, stirring frequently, slowly reduce the liquid.
After about 12 minutes watch the balsamic carefully and stir constantly to avoid reducing the vinegar to sludge. The liquid should thicken to a gravy consistency and make a “ribbon” as it is drizzled from a spoon.
Remove reduction from the heat when there is about 2 ounces of liquid remaining and set aside.
Place berries and sugar in a small saucepan and simmer and mash with a spoon until completely soft, about 5 minutes.
Strain mixture through a sieve.
Mix together with the sherry vinegar, shallots, and salt and pepper.
Whisk in walnut oil to create an emulsion.
Check and adjust seasoning and set aside.
Cooking the Scallops and Final Assembly:
Whisk raspberry vinaigrette and dress field greens.
Check and adjust seasoning of greens, remembering that scallops will be spicy.
Place greens in the middle of salad plates.
Coat scallops with the blackening mixture.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until oil is shimmering.
Sear the scallops until cooked through, about two minutes per side.
Arrange 4-5 warm scallops on top of each pile of greens.
Drizzle just a touch of the balsamic reduction over the scallops.
Wine Suggestion from Tracy:
These scallops pack a bit of a punch, so a sweet or spicy wine will create balance when the food and wine are tasted together. Best bets for a white are an off-dry Gewurztraminer or a Spatlese (Riesling). Pinot Noir is a great choice for a red, especially one from France or Oregon that has some spicy, earthy qualities.
Words by Tracy Anderson