Warm Scallop Salad with Moscatell Vinegar Reduction

Time: 15 minutes
Serves: 2 or 3
Complexity: easy

In this simple, wonderful recipe, the soft acidic of a white wine or champagne vinegar go beautifully with the Sweet richness of the scallops. Serve as a first course of two scallops over arugula salad for 3 people or as a main course, three scallops for 2 persons.


I have used a Moscatell Vinegar (Berkeley Bowl) as well as an Orange Muscat Champagne Vinegar (Trader Joe’s), both worked great.
Piment d’Espelette (Oaktown Spice – Piment d’ville)

Tips for cooking Scallops:

Pat the scallops dry with a paper towel before seasoning
Cook in a hot pan and do not overcrowd the scallops (arrange them so that they are not touching)
Let the scallops caramelize and develop a crust before turning-turn them only once


  • 6 scallops
  • salt & pepper
  • 11/2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil (and a little extra for dressing)
  • 2 tablespoons Moscatell Vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon Piment d’Espelette
  • 2 handfuls arugula, washed and dried
  • head of frisée lettuce, washed and dried


  1. Dust the scallops lightly with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over high heat, until it is almost smoking. You should be able to smell the fruitiness of the oil. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  3. Arrange the scallops in a single layer in the pan and sear about 1 to 2 minutes per side.
  4. Add the vinegar and Piment d’Espelette to the pan, stirring until the liquid is reduced by about one third and looks shiny, approximately 30-45 seconds over high heat.
  5. To plate, toss the arugula and frisée with a little of the extra olive oil, season to taste with salt and pepper and divide among plates. Place scallops per serving on top of the greens. Spoon the warm vinegar reduction over the scallops and serve.
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