French food gets a bad reputation for its heavy, rich, and decadent meals. But aside from all the butter, cheese, and chocolate, traditional French food often utilizes seasonal produce, local seafood, and simple, pared down preparations that allow these quality ingredients to shine. This simply prepared meal lacks in neither flavor nor nutritional benefits, and comes together start to finish in about 30 minutes. It’s the perfect meal to cook for company on a weeknight when lack of time requires a quick yet elegant meal. Scallops provide a high quality source of protein, and lentils add another boost of protein, and an ample amount fiber. The lemony, sharp Dijon dressing brightens up the kale and tomatoes, making the lentil salad equally as good with the scallops as it is on its own the next day for lunch.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 6 minutes
- 1 cup cooked lentils (preferably the dark green French du Puy variety)
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 lemon, zested
- 2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small red onion, diced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 cup halved cherry or grape tomatoes
- 2 cups finely shredded kale
- ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
- Sea salt and black pepper to taste
- In a large bowl, whisk together the mustard, lemon juice and zest, vinegar, olive oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Add the lentils, onion, garlic, tomatoes, kale, and parsley, and toss everything together to coat in the dressing. Season to taste with salt and pepper, adding more lemon juice or olive oil as needed. It should taste bright, lemony, and sharp.
- 12 sea scallops, cleaned and dried
- 1 tablespoon flour
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Olive oil for cooking
- Combine the flour, salt, and pepper, and toss the scallops in this mix to evenly coat them, then shake off the excess flour (this helps give them a golden brown crust).
- Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add enough oil to coat the bottom of the skillet thinly, and add the scallops, being careful not to overcrowd the pan. You might have to do two batches.
- Let the scallops sear for 3 minutes on the first side, then flip them and cook for another 3 minutes, spooning the hot oil over them to help develop a crust.
- Once cooked, plate the scallops over the lentil salad, and finish with a sprinkling of fresh parsley and a drizzle of olive oil if you like.