Oh, man. It just doesn't get any better than this Blackened Scallops Caesar Salad. If you're a salad lover (like me) and you love your seafood with a little kick, you must give this a try. A few minutes on the stove and this dinner salad will be made in no time. Shave on some of your favorite Parmigiano Reggiano and serve it with crusty bread for a perfect weeknight meal.
- Scallops - Large sea scallops that are super tender with a spicy outer layer add tremendous flavor.
- Lettuce - Chosen for its crunch and mild taste.
- Cucumber - Makes a refreshing and crunchy edition to this classic salad.
- Parmesan - Adds a rich and slightly salty flavor that makes the salad taste amazing.
- Salt and Pepper - To enhance the other flavors.
- Extra virgin olive oil - Contributes a rich and smooth consistency to the dressing.
- Pasteurized egg yolk - Helps to create a creamy texture.
- Lemon - Adds freshness.
- Garlic - Provides a subtle garlic flavor.
- Dijon mustard - Adds a slight tang.
- Anchovies - One minced anchovy fillet is a classic addition that contributes depth to the flavor of this dressing. If you enjoy a more pronounced anchovy flavor, you can add another fillet, but gradual adjustments are advisable.
Note: Refer to the recipe card below for exact quantities.
How to Make a Caesar Salad with Blackened Scallops
Step One: Prepare the Dressing
There are several ways to prepare homemade salad dressings:
1). Use a bowl to whisk or stir the ingredients together.
2). Put all of your ingredients in a mason jar with a lid, then give it a little shake.
3). Use a stick blender to blend the salad dressing ingredients together. This is helpful if the dressing includes a garlic clove or anchovies.
4). Use an oil and vinegar dispenser with your favorite extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar to drizzle on salads as needed.
Homemade salad dressings are easy to make if you keep some essential ingredients on hand. See our Top 10 Favorite Salad Dressing Recipes for the dressings we love the most.
Step Two: Prepare the Protein
To prepare the scallops, start by blotting them with a paper towel to make sure they are dry. Next, season them with your favorite blackened seasoning. In a cast-iron skillet on medium-high heat, sear the scallops in oil for 1-2 minutes per side, or until they reach a safe internal temperature of 125 degrees F. Baste with butter to add more flavor.
Step Three: Prepare Ingredients
Cut or tear up lettuce into small portions. Wash all lettuce and produce thoroughly, then set it aside to drain in a colander. While lettuce is draining, dice all remaining ingredients into small salad-sized portions.
Step Four: Assemble and Serve
Assemble the salad in layers with lettuce on the bottom, followed by fresh diced vegetables, and any additional cheeses, croutons, nuts, and/or seeds.
Add a small amount of dressing and give it a good toss. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary. Serve immediately.
- Protein - Chicken or shrimp would be a great substitute for scallops.
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- Salad bowl
- Salad tongs
- Oil and vinegar dispensers
- Frying pan or cast iron skillet
- Meat thermometer
- Cutting board
Store salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator without dressing for 2-3 days. If the salad is moist from being washed, place a paper towel on top of it to draw out the moisture.
Buy pre-washed and ready-to-eat lettuce to save time.
Have leftover ingredients?
- Leftover shaved parmesan makes a nice topping for this Arugula Side Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette. It can also be used on your favorite pasta dish!
In the mood for a similar dish?
Try these other salad recipes ideas:
More seafood recipes you will enjoy:
It may be an old wives tale that you shouldn't cut lettuce. Supposedly, the lettuce will brown a little quicker around the edges, but many people disagree that this is true.
Blackened Scallops Caesar Salad
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon (juice of)
- 1 large pasteurized egg yolk room temperature
- 2 tablespoons parmesan grated
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 qty anchovy fillet minced (adjust to taste)
- 1 pound jumbo sea scallops
- 1 tablespoon blackening seasoning
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 head romaine lettuce washed and torn into bite-sized pieces
- 1 qty cucumber thinly sliced
- ½ cup parmesan cheese shaved
- salt to taste
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- In a blender or food processor, combine the extra virgin olive oil, egg, lemon juice, minced garlic, and anchovies.
- Blend on low speed until the ingredients are well combined and the dressing is smooth and creamy. Adjust seasoning if necessary. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- Pat the jumbo sea scallops dry with paper towels to remove excess moisture.
- In a shallow bowl, coat the scallops evenly with the blackening seasoning.
- Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering.
- Carefully add the seasoned scallops to the hot skillet, making sure not to overcrowd the pan.
- Cook the scallops for 2-3 minutes on each side, until they develop a nice sear and are opaque in the center. Adjust cooking time based on the size of the scallops. Remove from heat and set aside.
- In a large salad bowl, combine the torn romaine lettuce and sliced cucumber.
- Drizzle a portion of the Caesar dressing over the salad and gently toss to coat the greens evenly. Add more dressing as needed.
- Season the salad with a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper, adjusting to your taste preferences.
- Arrange the blackened scallops on top of the dressed salad. Sprinkle the shaved parmesan cheese over the scallops and greens.
- Garnish with additional cracked black pepper and a lemon wedge.
Using pasteurized eggs is the safest way to incorporate raw egg yolks into your Caesar dressing. Pasteurization involves heating eggs at a controlled temperature to destroy harmful bacteria while retaining the yolk's integrity. Pasteurized eggs are widely available and reduce the risk of foodborne illness.
If you're concerned about using raw egg yolks, you can use a suitable egg substitute. One popular option is using mayonnaise as a base for your Caesar dressing, which provides a creamy texture without the need for raw eggs.
Cook scallops to a minimum internal temperature of 125°F.
- Create a clean work area.
- Wash hands after touching raw meat or seafood.
- Rinse fresh produce thoroughly.
- Do not use the same cutting board or utensils on cooked food or produce, that previously touched raw meat or seafood.
- Do not leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods.
- Never leave cooking food unattended.
- Use oils with a high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds.
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove.