Eat Orange Zest Sea Scallop Salad with Albariño
By Lisa Pretty
Albariño is a very fun white wine. The grape originated in Galicia in the northwest of Spain and tends be very aromatic with notes of peaches, apricots and almonds. The wines typically have a supple and lightly creamy texture while finishing with a nice level of acidity. The flavor profile also makes it fun since it can range from very citrus to almost honeysuckle yet always delivers a nice level of fruitiness. More and more California winemakers seem to be playing with this grape and I have been having a great time exploring the different approaches and enjoying the end results.
The nice acidity of Albariño tends to make it pair well with seafood. I’m a huge fan of anything that comes from the ocean and have to say sea scallops may be one of my favorite things to make when I am having company. They take very little time to cook, look pretty when lightly seared and seem to impress guests. I usually make them as a lunch item or as an appetizer for dinner. With the short cook time you can do the last minute preparation while a more substantial main course simmers.
Given that Albariño can hold up to the acidity in citrus fruit, I decided to try it out with my orange zest scallop salad recipe when I was having a girl’s lunch at my place. I have to say it had a wow factor and yet took less than 20 minutes to prepare.
Orange Zest Sea Scallop Salad
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound large sea scallops (approximately 3 per person)
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
4 green onions, chopped
1 tablespoon orange zest
Juice of 2 oranges
Juice of 2 limes
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (more if you like it spicy)
Salt to taste
Mixed lettuce (butter lettuce adds a nice texture)
1). Wash scallops, pat dry and sprinkle with salt.
2). Heat olive oil in a large frying pan. Sear scallops so they are lightly browned on both sides – do not cook through. Remove scallops from pan.
3). Sauté bell peppers and white portion of green onion until they become soft, then add orange zest, orange juice, lime juice, soy sauce, cayenne pepper and salt to taste. Reduce heat, and return scallops to pan.
4). As the scallops heat and the sauce thickens place mixed lettuce and chopped green onions in bowls.
5). Pour the sauce and peppers over the greens and toss. Place scallops on top and serve.
Lisa’s Favorite: 2010 Bodegas Paso Robles “Galicia” Albariño “Galicia is a perfect sipping wine for summer. It has a honeydew melon bouquet followed by a citrus finish reminiscent of orange peel.” Retail $20 bodegaspasorobles.com
Paso Pick: 2009 Silver Horse Albariño “Crisp, clean, refreshing, this wine has hints of white peach, grapefruit, and melon flavors. Nice acidity makes this a great foodie wine.” Retail $27 silverhorse.com
Value Pick: 2009 Tangent Albariño “Briny and a little bit floral, this wine has a mineral, wet stone nose. It tastes fresh and crisp, of tangerine zest and mandarin oranges, and has a honeyed richness along with nice acid balance.” Retail $17 tangentwines.com