9 ounces baby spinach (about 8 cups lightly packed)
3/4 cup sliced almonds
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound medium sea scallops, tendons removed (see note)
4 ounces jarred roasted red peppers, drained and cut into thin strips (about 1/2 cup)
2 medium shallots, sliced thin
Dash ground black pepper
1-1/2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
Place the spinach in a large bowl and set it aside.
Toast the almonds in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat, shaking the pan occasionally to turn the
nuts until they are fragrant and lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Transfer the almonds to the
bowl with the spinach.
Add 2 tablespoons oil to the empty skillet, raise the heat to med-high, and heat until the oil
begins to smoke. Add the scallops, flat-side down, and cook until well browned, 2-1/2 to 3
minutes. Using tongs, turn the scallops over, one at a time. Cook until medium rare (the sides
will have firmed up and all but the middle third of the scallop will be opaque), about 45 seconds
longer. Transfer the scallops to a plate, season with salt to taste, and set aside.
Lower the heat to medium and add the remaining 3 tablespoons oil to the empty skillet along
with the red peppers, shallots, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Cook until the shallots soften
slightly, about 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and swirl in the vinegar. Pour the warm
dressing over the spinach and gently toss to wilt. Divide the spinach salad among 4 plates, and
arrange the scallops on top. Serve immediately. Makes 4 main-course servings.
Note: The small, rough-textured, crescent-shaped muscle that attaches the scallop to the shell
toughens when cooked. Use your fingers to peel the tendons away from the side of each scallop
before cooking.