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Published: Tuesday, 1/1/2008

Scallops on blood orange

3 blood oranges

1 tablespoon Champagne vinegar

2 tablespoons minced shallots

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 ounces watercress, stemmed

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

6 large (2-ounce) diver or day-boat sea scallops, sliced in half, or 12 medium

(1-ounce) scallops, patted dry

Cut skin from two of the oranges, following the curve of the fruit with the knife. Carefully cut the sections from the membranes, working over a small bowl to catch any juice. Put the segments in a large bowl.

Measure 2 tablespoons of the juice and transfer to a small bowl. If there is less than 2 tablespoons, squeeze enough from the remaining orange to yield 2 tablespoons.

Whisk in the vinegar and shallots. Gradually whisk in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a slow, steady stream. Add to the bowl with the orange segments. Add the watercress and toss gently to coat evenly. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Divide among 6 small plates.

Season scallops with salt and pepper. In a large saute pan, heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil over high heat until it shimmers but does not smoke. Add scallops and cook until browned on the bottom, about 2 minutes (slightly less for smaller scallops.

Turn and cook until the other side is browned, 1 to 2 minutes or to desired doneness. Divide the scallops among the plates of salad and serving immediately.

Yield: 6 small plates

Source: Small Plates Perfect Wines

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