Native to Asia and rich in vitamins, watercress is one of the oldest greens known for consumption by mankind. The peppery punch pairs well with the briny sweet scallops to create a light meal or a lovely first course.
6 large or 12 small scallops
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 Tbsp amchur
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
pinch of salt
juice from one lemon
2-3 Tbsp pumpkin seeds
1 bunch upland or plain watercress
2-3 Tbsp pomegranate seeds
Toss the scallops with the chili powder, turmeric, amchur, salt, black pepper and olive oil. Set aside to marinate for an hour or two or overnight in the refrigerator.
When ready to cook, prepare the dressing. Heat up the olive oil in a small sautée pan until just shy of smoking. Pop the mustard seeds. Almost immediately take the pan off the heat and add the pumpkin seeds, lemon juice and salt.
Pour the dressing into a small cup and heat up the sautée pan once more. Sear the scallops on both sides until golden brown (about 1-2 minutes on each side).
To assemble, tear the watercress (use the stems and all - the stems in particular are packed with flavor and nutrition) and spread into a shallow bowl. Place the scallops on and around the watercress. Drizzle the mustard seed dressing over, sprinkle with the pomegranate seeds and serve.
Notes and variations
Use cumin or coriander seeds in the dressing instead of mustard.
If the watercress gets slightly wilted by the hot scallops, not to worry - it will still taste very good.
Substitute orange wedges for pomegranate seeds.
Replace the pumpkin seeds with nuts - pine nuts in particular work well with scallops.