This delightfully fresh and flavorful salad is so simple to make. It's also incredibly healthy. All you'll need is one red grapefruit, a beefsteak tomato, baby spinach, and palm hearts. It's perfect for Valentine's Day! ♥
Hey you, do you have a scallop lover in your life? I do. Perhaps you used to swoon over marine bivalve mollusks before you converted to a plant-based diet? I did. Or maybe you aren’t a vegan, but you’re always looking for alternatives to animal products because you’re trying to reduce your cholesterol, or you can’t stand the lingering odor of cooked seafood. Stinky.
If you’ve answered yes to any of my questions then you’re going to love this Vegan "Scallop" Salad with Lemon Horseradish Dressing for Two recipe.
Where did the inspiration for this come from? I’ll tell you. Grab a cup of java and let’s chat it up.
There are two places that get the creative juices in my brain pumping, the shower, and my car. I’m thinking it’s the hot water pulsing on my head and the music in my car that get my creative neurons firing at rapid speed.
This vegan “scallop” recipe came to me while I was in my car. I was driving to the gym to run—because running outside is treacherous where I live—and I was thinking about Valentine’s Day. I wanted to make something special for the Breakfast King—he’s my muse-- and out of nowhere I thought of capellini pasta with scallops. One of his favorite dishes.
Not happening. Even though he still eats fish, I don’t. And as much as I love him, I’m not buying, cooking, and serving him anything that was once a living being.
That’s when my brain jumped on the I will figure this out even if it make me crazy train. One of my best and worst traits is that I don’t take no for an answer. In my mind, if there’s a will there’s a way. I had the will so I was going to find a way to make my husband capellini pasta with scallops.
Let’s wrap this up.
After thinking of all of the plant foods that could mimic scallops, such as mushrooms and jackfruit, palm hearts came to mind. They’re the perfect shape, they’re mild and slightly sweet (if packed in water), and they have a slightly spongy texture, just like scallops.
I finished my run, drove to the supermarket to buy a jar of palm hearts, drove home, and started cooking. And this my friends, is my latest creation and my new favorite, the vegan “scallop.”
You don’t have to be a chef to pull off this delicious salad. If you can wash and chop spinach, filet a grapefruit, slice a tomato, shave and chop some fennel, whisk together a dressing, and slice and pan sear palm hearts, you can make this.
Trust yourself, you CAN do all of the above.
You all know how tasty a grapefruit and tomato salad is, so I’m going to skip right to the star of this dish.
Vegan “scallops.” Y’all, these little fakers are amazing! I seared them in a tiny bit of olive oil with a teensy-weensy bit of sea salt and black pepper and a thin coating of bread crumbs. They truly mimic the texture of scallops and they taste so mild and delicious.
Will your scallop loving friends think that they’re scallops? They will when they look at them because I had a small bowl of them waiting for my hubby to try when he got home from work, and he was completely perplexed. He thought I made scallops! As if.
Obviously they don’t taste exactly like scallops. And they—thankfully—don’t smell like scallops. Because they’re palm hearts. However, they make a kickin’ substitute and I can say that with confidence because my guy ate the entire bowl, and a lot of mmmms came out of his mouth while he did.
Like I said, I’m not going to talk about the salad component of this recipe, except to say that the fresh and juicy red grapefruit and the sweet and meaty tomato is perfect with the licorice-flavored fennel. I am, however, going to talk about the dressing, because it deserves some cred.
This lemon and horseradish dressing is exciting! The flavors stand out while being perfectly subtle. Horseradish is powerful stuff, but there’s just enough in this to give the dressing a tiny kick without knocking you out. The lemon calms it down, the mustard gives it depth, and the salt and sugar balance out the flavors. You need the sugar and the salt so don’t skip them. If you can’t fathom adding sugar then add a sweetener of your choice, just start with a tiny bit and go from there so it doesn’t overpower the dressing.
I know what you’re thinking. Where’s the capellini with scallops? I know that I said that my husband loves that dish, and that’s what inspired me to create a faux scallop. Well……I forgot to buy the pasta. But I was so excited that the palm hearts recipe worked that I wanted to share it with you NOW. So I made a salad. Besides, some of you may not like pasta, so this Vegan "Scallop" Salad with Lemon Horseradish Dressing for Two recipe gives you a lighter and even healthier way to serve vegan “scallops.”
But don’t worry all of my pasta loving friends, because I’m going to share my very delicious and romantic capellini recipe with you on Friday. Just in time for that special day. ♥
Where do you do your most creative thinking?
Are you afraid of horseradish? Don’t be, at least when it’s in this dressing.
Are you on team pasta or team salad? Maybe both?
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Vegan "Scallop" Salad with Lemon Horseradish Dressing for Two
- For the vegan “scallops”:
- 1 16 ounce jar of palm hearts packed in water – drain the water and slice into one inch rounds
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 2-3 tablespoons of breadcrumbs
- Finely ground sea salt and ground black pepper to taste
- For the salad:
- 6 cups of chopped spinach
- 1 large red grapefruit – remove skin and pith and filet
- 1 large beefsteak tomato – sliced
- 1 cup of shaved fennel – chopped
- For the dressing:
- Juice from one large lemon approximately 1/4 cup
- 1 teaspoon of olive oil optional
- 1/4 teaspoon of horseradish
- 1/4 teaspoon of dry mustard or yellow mustard
- 1/8 teaspoon of finely ground sea salt
- 1/8 teaspoon of sugar
- For the vegan “scallops”:
- Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet on medium-high heat. When the oil is hot carefully place the palm hearts flat side down in the pan. Grind a small amount of salt and pepper and sprinkle bread crumbs over the top to coat. When the bottoms are lightly browned carefully flip them over and sprinkle the rest of the breadcrumbs on top. Flip one more time when the other side of the palm hearts are golden brown. When both sides are golden brown remove from the pan and place on a plate.
- NOTE: If the layers of the palm hearts separate when you slice them use a spatula to place them in the pan and carefully turn them. As long as you are careful they should stay together. One of the palm hearts separated and the rest stayed together in the batch I made.
- For the salad:
- Put the spinach down first and arrange the grapefruit and tomato in any arrangement that you like. Sprinkle the fennel on top.
- For the dressing:
- Whisk the lemon juice, olive oil, horseradish, mustard, salt, and sugar (if you don’t eat sugar use a substitute but add it slowly and taste as you add. You need the sugar to balance the flavor) together and drizzle over the salad. Toss to coat. Add the palm hearts to the salad after tossing.
- NOTE: If you’re going to toss the salad to coat place the palm hearts over it after you’ve tossed it so they don’t fall apart.