Coriander Crusted Scallops and Tangerine Salad

If I had to come up with one word to describe this dish I would call it “restauranty.” It comes off as all crazy complicated and stylish, but it is actually really easy. I developed it for the April 2010 issue of EatingWell Magazine.

And now here it is on HealthySeasonalRecipes because it is perfect for the holiday season. Obviously, we all are crazy busy this time of year. But in 30 minutes, you can wow your dinner guests, and they will think you slaved away on it. Plus, I figure, scallops and frisee are kinda pricey, but the holidays are the one time of year when you may want to splurge a little.

May I suggest this insane peppermint pattie cheesecake for dessert? Or make this pecan tart sweetened with maple syrup.

How to Make Crusted Scallops

Scallops cook remarkably quickly, so the key to cooking them and achieving a nice crust is to cook them much hotter than you think you would want to. That means they will not let off too much liquid as they cook, and a nicely brown crust will appear. 


How to Grind the Coriander Seeds

  • Additionally, this crusted scallop recipe has a spice crust which adds another layer of texture to the outside of the scallops. To make it, you will need either a coffee grinder or a mortar and pestle to crush the coriander seeds. Just grind the seeds until they are roughly cracked and ground. It is nice to have a rustic texture to add nuance to the overall scallop’s texture.
  • If you do not have a spice mill or coffee grinder or mortar and pestle, you can put your coriander seeds into a resealable bag and crush them with a heavy skillet or rolling pin.

How to Sear Scallops

  • Make sure the scallops are dry before you cook them. It is important that they do not have moisture on them because the moisture or liquid will impede the browning.
  • When searing the scallops do not turn them more than once. Sear them for a full two to three minutes on each side, and they will be just barely cooked through and not dried out and rubbery.

How to Serve the Tangerine Salad and Scallops

  • This recipe really does need to me served at the last minute. But you can do prep work in advance. Prepare the dressing and clean the greens. You can also segment the citrus as well. You can even make the spice mix for the scallops in advance. 
  • Once you are ready to serve the salad. Get your scallops out, pat them dry and then crust them. If you try to do this in advance, the salt will make the scallops weep which will inhibit browning. 
  • Then once they are in the skillet browning, toss your dressing and greens and divide them among the plates. 
  • As soon as the scallops are done, set them on top of the greens and serve.


This recipe serves four as an entree or you can serve it as a first course to six people. If you’re serving a second course, here are some options.

What To Serve with This Tangerine Salad with Coriander Crusted Scallops

  1. Slow Roasted Pork Shoulder with Rosemary is a great hands off recipe to serve at the holidays.
  2. Butternut Squash Lasagna is one of my new favorites for serving to company because you can build it a couple days ahead and then bake it. 
  3. Another really cozy main course to serve could be this slow cooker beef with porcini mushrooms over penne pasta. It is the kind of meal that will set your guests at ease! 

If you make this recipe, please come back and let me know what you think by leaving a star rating and review.

Coriander Crusted Scallops and Tangerine Salad

tangerine salad with coriander crusted scallops

  • Author: Katie Webster
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 entrée servings or 6 appetizer servings 1x
  • Category: first course
  • Method: stove top
  • Cuisine: American


Tangerine salad with frisee topped with coriander crusted scallops.



For the Tangerine Vinaigrette

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon tangerine zest
  • 2 tablespoons tangerine juice
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon white-wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped spring herbs, such as chervil, chives, tarragon or dill
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

 For the Salad and Scallops

  • 12 cups baby spinach and frisee
  • 2 tangerines, segmented
  • 1 pound dry sea scallops, “foot” removed and patted dry (see *ingredient note)
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds, roughly milled/ ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil


  1. Whisk 2 tablespoons olive oil, juice, vinegar, shallot, herbs, mustard, zest, salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
  2. Combine greens and tangerine segments in a large salad bowl, add dressing and toss to coat. Divide the salads among 4 entrée plates or 6 appetizer plates.
  3. Mix crushed coriander seeds, kosher salt and pepper in a small bowl. Sprinkle on both sides of scallops. Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in a large cast-iron or non-stick skillet over medium high heat until shimmering but not yet smoking. Add scallops and cook, until they develop a golden brown crust and just opaque all the way through, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Divide scallops on top of the greens.


37 mg Cholesterol, 0 g Added Sugar

*ingredient note: Each scallop has a knobby muscle on the side which attaches the scallop to its shell. It is known as the foot. It is too chewy and should be removed. Just pull it right off with your fingers and feed it to your cat.


  • Serving Size: 1 salad and 3 scallops
  • Calories: 215
  • Sugar: 5 g
  • Sodium: 790 mg
  • Fat: 9.5 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 14 g
  • Fiber: 2.8 g
  • Protein: 21 g