Seared Scallops Nicoise

In this take on traditional Nicoise salad, scallops replace the usual tuna. Slice very large scallops in half crosswise before sprinkling them with the peppercorn mixture.

  • Servings: 6

Source: Martha Stewart Living, June 2000


  • 1 1/2 teaspoons each whole pink peppercorns, dried green peppercorns, white peppercorns, and black peppercorns
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 7 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds haricots verts, stem ends trimmed
  • 1 1/2 pounds (about 2 cups) fava beans, shelled
  • 1 pound sea scallops
  • 1/2 cup Nicoise olives (about 3 ounces)
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 12 small red tomatoes, halved
  • 12 small orange tomatoes, halved
  • 3 eggs, hard-boiled, cut into 8 wedges
  • Fresh tarragon, for garnish
  • Lemon wedges, (optional)


  1. In a spice grinder or clean coffee grinder, coarsely grind each type of peppercorn separately. Transfer to a small bowl, and toss to combine. Set aside.

  2. In another small bowl, mix vinegar and mustard; add 6 tablespoons oil in a slow steady stream, whisking continuously. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and set dressing aside.

  3. Fill a large bowl with ice and water. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add haricots verts, and cook until bright green and just tender, about 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, lift beans from water, and transfer to the ice bath to cool. Remove from ice bath with slotted spoon; transfer to a clean kitchen towel. Pat dry; transfer beans to a large bowl. Set aside.

  4. Return the water to a boil. Add fava beans, and cook until just tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain and transfer to the ice bath. Drain in a colander. Remove and discard inner skins from fava beans, and add beans to haricots verts.

  5. Sprinkle scallops with salt and reserved peppercorn mixture. Heat a cast-iron skillet until very hot over medium-high heat. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil. Add half the scallops, and cook until well browned, 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Transfer to a plate, and set aside.

  6. Add remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil to the skillet. Repeat with the remaining scallops, and transfer to the plate.

  7. Add olives, onion, tomatoes, and reserved dressing to beans; toss to combine.

  8. Arrange salad on six plates. Top with eggs and scallops; garnish with tarragon. Serve with lemon wedges, if desired.


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