Scallops are cooked when the outside is golden brown and the center is just going from translucent to opaque. Any longer than 2 minutes on each side and they’ll get tough, so it’s essential that you stand over them and remember the order you put them in the pan. The simple salad goes equally well with crab or lobster.
First make the salad. Peel, core, and cut the apple into julienne strips. Mix with the mâche and season with salt and pepper. Add some of the lemon zest (keeping a little back to garnish) and squeeze over the juice. Drizzle the salad with olive oil and mix well.
Heat a large nonstick frying pan over high heat until smoking hot, then add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Lay the scallops out on a cutting board, pat dry with paper towels, and season one side with salt and pepper.
Think of the frying pan as a clock face and add the scallops, one by one, seasoned side down, in a clockwise order, then sear for 1–2 minutes until golden brown. Season the unseasoned side of the scallops, then flip them over in the same order you placed them in the pan and repeat the process. Squeeze the lemon juice over the scallops and give the pan a good shake.
When the scallops are cooked, tip the contents of the pan onto a plate lined with paper towels. This will instantly stop the cooking process, while the paper towels will absorb any excess oil.
Divide the salad between 2 serving plates and arrange the scallops around each pile. Garnish with the remaining lemon zest and serve immediately.
HOW TO CUT JULIENNE STRIPS
Julienne are fine strips about the size of matchsticks. To make them, peel and core your ingredient, then cut in half or into quarters. Place flat side down on a work surface and cut into slices about ⅛ inch thick. Cut these slices into matchstick-sized pieces.