October 1, 2012

Scallop, Cucumber & Avocado Cocktail (Coctel de Vieras)
#MuyBuenoCookbook Spotlight and Cook-off, Week 2


While much of the country is entering a season of crisp autumn days and leaves the color of sunset, those of us who live under a blanket of coastal fog much of the year are at last getting a taste of our long awaited Indian Summer. As the mercury climbs and we trade in our shearling boots for flipflops for a few precious days, it's the perfect time to enjoy some lighter fare and the bounty of the oceans that meet our shores.

The Scallop & Cucumber Cocktail from the Muy Bueno Cookbook (p. 123) was my pick for Week 2 of the Muy Bueno Cookbook Spotlight & Cook-off

Lured by the promise of crisp cucumbers, bright citrus, delicate avocado and the sweetest of the fruits de mer, I knew that the Scallop and Cucumber Cocktail (Coctel de Vieras) from the Muy Bueno Cookbook would be the perfect, refreshing appetizer for outdoor entertaining during our short stretch of sunshine.  

When sunny skies have turned to grey, this is a perfect dish to bring summer back to the table with the light but lively flavors of the Mexican riviera. 

Scallop, Cucumber & Avocado Cocktail (Coctel de Vieras)
(adapted from the Muy Bueno Cookbook) 

yield:  4-6 servings

8 large sea scallops or 1 cup bay scallops
1 cup finely chopped celery (approx. 4 ribs)
5 Persian cucumbers, chopped (original recipe calls for 6)
3 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
1 serrano pepper, stemmed and finely chopped
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 avocado, cubed (original recipe calls for 1/2)
 cilantro for garnish

marinade for scallops (halved from the original recipe)
1 1/2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup honey
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
ground black pepper to taste

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
juice of 1/2 lemon
juice of 1 lime
1 teaspoon kosher salt

  1. Drain and rinse scallops thoroughly.  Pat them dry with paper towels.  Combine marinade ingredients in a mixing bowl.  Add scallops and coat well.  Allow to marinate while you prepare the rest of the cocktail.
  2. Combine the dressing ingredients in a small bowl.  Mix thoroughly and set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine celery, cucumbers, red  onion, serrano pepper and cilantro.  Add the dressing and mix well.  Cover and put in the refrigerator.
  4. Heat a nonstick pan over high heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil.  The oil needs to be very hot before you add the scallops.  Place the scallop's flat side down in the hot pan.  Don't overcrowd the pan or you'll lower the pan temperature, causing the scallops to steam rather than sear.  Cook for about 2 to 3 minutes on each side until golden and caramelized.  Make sure they are caramelized before turning.  Turn only once.  Do not overcook or they will be rubbery.  Cool briefly, about 2 minutes.
  5. Once cool, cut each scallop into eighths (if using large ones).  If using bay scallops, there is no need to cut.  Add scallops to the salad and toss.  Refrigerate for one hour to allow flavors to marry.
  6. Add the diced avocado just before serving and toss gently.  Serve in cocktail glasses and garnish with a sprig of fresh cilantro.

*This post is part of the Muy Bueno Cookbook Spotlight & Cook-Off sponsored by Hippocrene and hosted at girlichef*

Interested in sampling more recipes from the Muy Bueno Cookbook?
Visit these food blogs to see which recipe they chose to feature and share this week:

This post has been linked-up with It's Time to Party



  1. This sounds so fun and different from what I've been making lately. Looking forward to trying it.

  2. Mmmm...I could close my eyes and take a bite and I would definitely think it was still summer. This was such a great choice...and it sounds absolutely delicious!

  3. It's not for me (as it's not kosher) but it looks wonderful!:)

  4. Love the beautiful color you got on those scallops. I'm going to have to make this soon. Beautiful photos.

  5. That is a beautiful cocktail of scrumptious bites.

  6. I love this recipe & I’ve featured it in my Cinco de Mayo Recipes Roundup over on my blog, Anyonita Nibbles. I’ve also joined your sites & started following you socially! You can find the roundup here: http://anyonitanibbles.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/cinco-de-mayo-recipe-roundup.html I hope you’ll stop by & share the roundup with your followers! :) Happy Cinco de Mayo!


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