With the fall season approaching, chefs are left with finding ways to approach menus using the freshest available ingredients, while keeping light and tasty in mind. I recently did a wine tasting at Atlantic Shores using the following recipe as a first course. It combines fresh scallops with a light arugula salad tossed with fennel, green apples and pomegranate vinaigrette.

Pomegranate Vinaigrette:
1 Cup POM pomegranate Juice (reduced to 1/4cup)
¾ cup Olive Oil
1 tsp Chopped Garlic
1 tsp Finely Chopped Shallots
2 TBSP White Balsamic Vinegar
1 tsp Honey
½ tsp Dijon Mustard
½ tsp Granulated Sugar
To taste Salt (kosher or sea)
To taste pepper

Begin by reducing the cup of pomegranate juice down to ¼ cup. Do not boil, but simmer lightly until it is reduced by ¾. Allow Juice to cool completely. (I never used to do this, but saw that by reducing the juice it gives a more concentrated flavor and works well with the vinaigrette). Adjust seasonings with S&P to taste.

Next combine all ingredients except oil. Blend together with an immersion blender until well combined. Once ingredients are blended together with immersion blender running slowly, add oil in until velvety and smooth

Arugula Apple Salad:
2 cups Arugula
1 each Granny Smith Apple (or any apple of your choice) Julienned w/ Mandolin
½ each Fennel Bulb (shaved thin using mandolin)
3 TBSP Finely Diced Tomatoes
3 TBSP Crispy Bacon (chopped fine)
To taste Pomegranate Vinaigrette

Prepare salad right before serving, and after scallops have been seared. Combine arugula fennel, tomatoes and bacon in bowl. Toss with pomegranate vinaigrette, just enough to lightly coat the. Finish with freshly julienned crisp apples on top as garnish.

Seared Scallops:
12 each Sea Scallops
Pinch Salt (kosher or sea)
Pinch Pepper
2 TBSP Oil

Heat oil in non-stick pan, season scallops with salt & pepper. Once oil is hot enough, sear scallops in pan until you get nice caramelization on each side. Arrange scallops on plate and place salad in middle for serving.


Bryan Haines is the Executive Chef at Atlantic Shores in Virginia Beach where he develops original, delicious dishes for residents and their guests. He has worked at top restaurants in Virginia and New Jersey, and his unique dishes have earned a variety of local awards, including: People’s Choice at the Virginia Foodbank’s Tastefully Yours competition; Most Creative Recipe in the Seton Youth Shelter Derby; and three awards at the Mariners Museum’s History Bites competition — Judge’s Choice, People’s Choice, and Iron Clad for Most Authentic.