Black and Orange Recipe: Poppy-Crusted Sea Scallops on Fennel and Orange Salad

Everyday this month, we'll have something Halloween-inspired for you in the morning.

On Wednesdays, it will always be an original black and orange recipe that's simple, festive, and elegant. Nothing scary about it—except the colors!

This first salad pairs white fennel with Navel oranges, or if you prefer a sanguine effect, blood oranges. Crowning the top are black poppy-speckled, seared sea scallops. The sweetness of the oranges and the scallops coupled with the licorice twist of the fennel makes this something like grown-up candy. A sophisticated and fresher alternative, I'd say!

About the author: Kerry Saretsky is a Serious Eats intern and the creator of French Revolution Food, where she reinvents her family's classic French recipes in a fresh, chic, modern way.

Black and Orange Recipe: Poppy-Crusted Sea Scallops on Fennel and Orange Salad

About This Recipe

This recipe appears in: Halloween Recipes Roundup


  • 12 sea scallops
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh fennel fronds
  • 3 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil for the dressing, plus 2 tablespoons for sautéing the scallops
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (about ½ lemon)
  • 1 fennel bulb, sliced as thinly as possible
  • 2 Navel or Blood oranges, sliced or supremed
  • Salt and pepper


  1. 1

    Season the scallops with salt and pepper.

  2. 2

    Mix together the thyme, parsley, fennel fronds, and poppy seeds. Then roll the scallops through the mixture, leaving the top and bottom of the scallops naked.

  3. 3

    Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a sauté pan over high heat. Sear the scallops until golden and transparent throughout, about 3-5 minutes on each side.

  4. 4

    Meanwhile, shave the fennel as thinly as possible, and supreme, or remove the skin and pith and then slice, the oranges. Toss with salt and pepper, the lemon juice, and the extra virgin olive oil.

  5. 5

    Arrange the fennel and orange salad, and then place the scallops on top.

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