I looked through the recipes I’ve shared here and they all seem to be based around either pasta, or vast amounts of sugar and cream or butter. Now that the weather’s getting better and the days are getting longer, I thought it was time to start thinking about some brighter and healthier meal options. This is a colourful and tasty salad that I just concocted for the first time last week, but I think it’s a keeper. It has a healthy base of baby spinach, scallops and strawberries – but also includes bacon and goat cheese to enhance both flavour and texture.
The quantities on the ingredients for the salad are really up to you. If you want to be healthier, use less bacon and cheese. For each dinner sized portion, I use:
2 big handfuls of baby spinach
12-15 baby scallops
2 slices of bacon
1-2 oz goat cheese
1/2 cup olive oil
2-3 strawberries (depending on size)
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp grainy mustard
2 leaves of fresh basil
Pinch of salt, pepper and sugar
You should make the dressing ahead of time to give all the flavours a chance to meld together. Cut up your strawberries into small pieces and have the other ingredients ready.
Put the strawberries into a food processor and chop for 5-10 seconds. The pieces don’t need to be too small. Throw in the vinegar, mustard, salt, pepper and sugar.
Start to puree and slowly add in the oil until everything is combined.
Slice the basil leaves. Stack the leaves, roll them tightly, then cut into thin pieces.
Add the basil to the dressing. This will make about 1 cup of dressing. Keep it in the fridge in a sealed container.
On to the salad!
Slice the bacon into short strips.
Get your scallops ready. Check them all for bits of sand and rinse if needed. Put them on a piece of paper towel and pat them dry – if they’re wet they won’t sear as nicely.
Slice strawberries and crumble goat cheese.
Put all the baby spinach in a big bowl and toss with the strawberry vinaigrette. This will make sure the leaves all get evenly coated, as opposed to just adding the dressing on top. Portion out the spinach onto plates (or into bowls).
Fry the bacon on medium heat until it’s as cooked as you like it. Once it’s done, remove the bacon from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Turn the heat up to medium-high and add the scallops to the pan (you can’t waste that bacon grease). Sear the scallops on both sides. They won’t take long, 1-2 minutes per side tops.
The scallops should be a lovely golden colour when they’re done.
Add the strawberries and goat cheese to the spinach. This looks pretty damn good already, and it’s only going to get better.
Add the bacon and scallops. Admire. Doesn’t it look beautiful? I love the colours.
- 3 big handfuls of baby spinach
- 6 strawberries
- 24-30 baby scallops
- 4 slices of bacon
- 2-3 oz goat cheese
- ½ cup olive oil
- 2-3 strawberries
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp grainy mustard
- 2 leaves of fresh basil
- Pinch of salt, pepper and sugar
- Cut strawberries into pieces and chop for 5-10 seconds in the food processor
- Add vinegar, mustard, salt, pepper, and sugar
- Puree while slowing adding the oil
- Thinly slice the basil and add to the dressing
- Refrigerate until ready to use
- Slice the bacon into short strips, fry and remove from pan
- Clean the scallops and pat them dry. Sear in the bacon fat (1-2 minutes per side)
- Toss spinach leaves in dressing, then portion on to plates
- Add sliced strawberries, crumbled goat cheese, bacon and scallops