Scallops with Watercress, Orange, and Miso Vinaigrette

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Every bite of this main course salad offers an exciting mix of sweet, bright, peppery, savory flavors. For the best browning, cook the scallops in batches.

Ingredients

  • 2-1/2 Tbs. toasted sesame seeds
  • 2 Tbs. white miso
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. seasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp. Asian sesame oil
  • 2 tsp. finely grated fresh ginger
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-1/2 lb. sea scallops, patted dry, side muscles removed
  • 2 tsp. peanut or canola oil
  • 1 large bunch watercress, trimmed and cut into bite-size pieces (about 8 cups)
  • 1 large orange, segmented, each segment halved crosswise
  • 3 scallions (dark green parts only), sliced on the diagonal into 1-inch pieces

Directions

In a blender, purée 2 Tbs. of the sesame seeds, the miso, rice vinegar, sesame oil, ginger, a pinch of salt, 1/8 tsp. pepper, and 3 Tbs. water until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Pat the scallops dry and season with salt and pepper. Heat the peanut oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering hot. Working in batches, add the scallops in a single layer and cook until well browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip and cook until browned on the second side and just firm to the touch, 1 to 2 minutes more.

Divide the watercress among 4 plates and then nestle the scallops into it. Spoon 1-1/2 to 2 Tbs. dressing over each salad and arrange the orange segments on the plates. Top with the scallions, sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 Tbs. sesame seeds, and serve.