Bacon-Maple Scallops on a Bed of Greens
This dish incorporates several of the delicious tastes of Maine. Searing the scallops ensures that they stay plump and juicy. You may choose to place them on the grill instead of in a pan. Long skewers are great for this.
- 16 oz (1 lb) large Maine scallops
- 8 oz thick-cut bacon (or 1 slice per 2 scallops)
- ½ cup Maine maple syrup, divided
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- fresh ground black pepper
- sea salt
- 4 cups fresh baby greens, washed and drained
Begin by soaking your bamboo skewers or toothpicks for fifteen minutes in a pie plate filled with room-temperature water. Cut each bacon slice in half so you have two long pieces.
Rinse the scallops, pat them dry, and wrap each with a piece of bacon. Where the two ends of the bacon overlap, push the skewer or toothpick through the overlapped ends of the bacon, then through the entire scallop and out the other side. (If you are using a long skewer, push the skewered scallop down toward one end, leaving the other end free to be used as a long handle.)
Place the wrapped scallops in a clean pie plate and drizzle them with 2 tablespoon maple syrup. Sprinkle them with the sea salt and pepper.
Grill or sauté the scallops, ensuring that the bacon is crisp when you’re done.
If you are grilling, stay and watch them carefully. Use the top rack, if you can, so the flames will not burn the delicate flesh of the scallops.
If you are sautéing, set the scallops on their sides in the pan. As the bacon cooks, the drippings will begin to coat the scallops. Cook them 3 minutes on each side if they are large—cook only until the scallops are opaque and the bacon is done. Be sure that you give each side, top, and bottom a chance to sear and lightly caramelize. This adds wonderful flavor.
In a small bowl, whisk the remaining maple syrup with the garlic, a sprinkle of sea salt, and a few grinds of black pepper.
Lay out your greens on a platter or on individual plates. Place the scallops on the greens and gently remove the toothpicks. (If you have used skewers, you may leave them in if they are clearly visible.) Drizzle the salad with the maple syrup mixture.
Serves 6 as an appetizer, 4 for brunch
From Fresh Maine Salads by Cynthia Finnemore Simonds