Because I made a very lovely meal last night, inspired by a few other web sites. First, I had seen a recipe for an avocado salad with fresh mint and an orange vinaigrette. The dressing recipe didn’t appeal to me, so I modified it a bit and loved the results. For the salad: one avocado, cut into small cubes; one head of butter lettuce, torn; 1/2 red onion, diced; and a good big handful of fresh mint, chopped fine. For the dressing: juice and zest of one large lemon; 1/2 large shallot, minced; couple shakes of pepper sauce (I used Capsicana Zing sauce, which is kind of a sweet/hot sauce); some olive oil; and a dash of cayenne pepper. Whisk the dressing up and toss with salad ingredients.

For the rest of the meal, I sauteed some huge, beautiful sea scallops (my dad had forwarded me an e-newsletter with a recipe for seared scallops, but I was a little too timid with my heat) in butter and olive oil, then removed them to a plate, added more butter to the pan, along with lemon juice, the other half of the shallot, and some basil and let that reduce a bit, then spooned it over the scallops.

So take it and adapt it–the scallops make it a somewhat pricey meal, but worth it for a treat. I could also see the salad pairing well with sauteed squid, or maybe poached salmon.

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