Cooking at the Cove: A few favorites

Dense, delicious rhubarb bread is the perfect thing to serve guests for a morning break. Karen Schneider / For The Forecaster

Sea scallops are definitely a favorite of mine and I’m fortunate enough to have a nice supply in my freezer that I purchased locally during the winter months. I really am a scallop purist, but these scallops are bathed in a tangy sauce that works well to enhance their delicate flavor without overwhelming them. Served with angel hair pasta or jasmine rice, this easy dish is a winner that you’ll make again and again. You’ll think you’re eating in a fancy restaurant when you taste them and they are really very little trouble to make.

Karen Schneider cooks and writes in the village of Cundys Harbor. You can reach her at [email protected]

During the summer especially I really like to stick with all the delicious foods that are in season as well as enjoying a few traditional favorites like ice cream cones, s’mores by the fire and lobster rolls.

When you need to set yourself to rights again, try this powerhouse salad. You can arrange the components decoratively on a platter or toss it together in your best salad bowl. It’s also perfect for a healthy and substantial lunch.

The dressing should be put together at the last minute as its main ingredient is very ripe avocados, but it’s super quick so it’s all OK.

When I consume this salad on a regular basis, I swear I tingle with extra energy. Served time and again at summer family gatherings, I’m often asked, “You’re bringing the Power Salad, right?”

This deluxe rhubarb bread recipe was sent to me by way of Jodi, a Cooking at the Cove reader. The original called for a cup of pecans, but I decided to leave them out as I was more in the mood for a lush soft bread with nothing to get in the way of the rhubarb. One loaf to serve right out of the oven when you have summer company staying over and another to save in the freezer for a day that’s too warm to be in the kitchen – that’s my strategy.

Skillet Sea Scallops

1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pound sea scallops
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup white wine or chicken broth
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon fresh parsley, minced

In a shallow bowl, toss bread crumbs with salt. Dip scallops in crumb mixture to coat both sides, pressing coating into scallops with your fingers.

In a large skillet, heat butter and oil over medium-high heat. Add scallops; cook 1 1/2-2 minutes on each side or until firm and opaque. Remove from pan; keep warm.

Add wine, lemon juice and garlic to same pan; bring to a boil. Stir in parsley. Drizzle over scallops. Yield: 4 servings

Power Salad

4 cups baby arugula or other bitter greens
1 cup Italian parsley, chopped
8 radishes, thinly sliced
1 English cucumber, thinly sliced
1 pound thin asparagus, chopped
2 cups fennel, chopped

Toss all ingredients together in a large salad bowl. Yield: 4 servings

Avocado Dressing

2 very ripe avocados
4 tablespoons fresh lime juice
4 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt

Mash the avocados in a medium-sized bowl. Using a whisk, mix in the other ingredients. Should be served immediately.

Rhubarb Bread

3 cups rhubarb, chopped and tossed with 2 tablespoons sugar
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 8-by-4-inch loaf pans.

Toss rhubarb with 2 tablespoons sugar, allow to stand while preparing batter.

In a large bowl, beat oil, eggs, vanilla and sugar until well-blended. In another bowl, whisk flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon. Gradually beat into oil mixture (batter will be thick). Stir in rhubarb mixture.

Spoon into prepared pans. Bake 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool. Yield: 2 loaves

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