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Beer Brined Scallops over Spinach Salad With Bacon Stout Dressing

Beer Brined Scallops over Spinach Salad With Bacon Stout Vinaigrette 2

If you’re going to make me a salad, it better be a damn good salad. After all, you’re asking me to skip carbs and satisfying fried finger foods, I might resent you if it isn’t a really good salad.

Bacon is a good start, and so is beer. Scallops are a fan favorite as well. Let’s talk about those for a second while we’re at it. Scallops will most likely come to you via a grocery store seafood counter soaking in a milky phosphate solution (yum!) that will help keep it fresh longer as well as give it an unfortunate soapy taste and an inability to sear properly. The solution to this is beer. Well, more accurately, a brine. Soaking the scallops in a brine will flush out that unappetizing liquid and give you a great taste and a great sear. Which will help that salad taste amazing. And make people forget all about the missing french fries.

But there is beer and bacon and perfect scallops, so no one should complain. If they do, take away their beer.


Beer Brined Scallops over Spinach Salad With Bacon Stout Vinaigrette_



Beer Brined Scallops over Spinach Salad With Bacon Stout Dressing

Servings 2 entree portions or 4 appetizer portions


  • 12 ounces pale ale
  • 2 tbs salt
  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 8 jumbo scallops
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 thick slices bacon
  • ¼ cup chopped shallots
  • ¼ cup stout beer
  • 2 tbs brown mustard
  • 2 tbs raw honey
  • 3 tbs olive oil
  • 3 tbs unsalted butter
  • 1 lbs asparagus
  • 3 cups baby spinach leaves
  • 2 wt oz crumbled goat cheese


  • In a large bowl stir together the pale ale, salt, water and lemon juice.
  • Add the scallops, cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  • Remove the scallops from fridge and place on top of a stack of 4-5 paper towels. Add another layer of paper towels and allow to drain and dry for 15 minutes. Sprinkle with pepper on both sides.
  • Cook the bacon in a pan over medium high heat until cooked through, remove from pan, chop and set aside. Add the shallots to the bacon grease, cook until shallots have softened, about 5 minutes. Add the stout beer, scraping to deglaze the pan. Add the mustard, honey and pepper, whisking to combine. Slowly whisk in the olive oil, stirring until thickened. Remove from heat.
  • Melt the butter in a skillet over medium high heat until very hot. Add the scallops, flat side down, and allow to cook until a dark golden brown crust forms on the bottom, about 2 minutes. Flip and cook until seared on the opposite side. Remove from pan when a slight hint of translucent pink still remains at the center, don’t over cook.
  • Trim asparagus, cut into 2 inch pieces. Cook the asparagus in lightly salted boiling water for one minute, drain and allow to dry.
  • Plate the spinach, top with asparagus, goat cheese, and crumbled bacon, dizzle with dressing, top with scallops.

Beer Brined Scallops over Spinach Salad With Bacon Stout Vinaigrette 3

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Bryan July 25, 2014 um 4:47 am

Perhaps this is why I have never liked scallops – the weird soapy solution flavor.


Tieghan July 25, 2014 um 5:35 am

Bacon stout dressing and beer brined scallops?? Wow, that right there sounds just awesome!


Ami@NaiveCookCooks July 26, 2014 um 12:19 pm

Seriously this is the craziest (in a seriously DELICIOUS way!) sounding recipe and I bet it tastes darn good too!!


addie | culicurious July 29, 2014 um 5:42 am

This salad sounds great – could be a tasty appetizer or serve as a full meal in a bigger portion. Love that! Also – I didn’t know that about the scallops and the brine. I don’t cook scallops at home often anyways but if/when I do, now I know how to do it well! Thanks for the tip! 🙂


Cat November 3, 2014 um 8:38 am

Wow!! What an incredible mix of flavours! First time making scallops…and I have to say…amazing….simply amazing! Must have been the brine…the scallops were restaurant quality! Made this as part of a surf n turf with your recipe for Beer Marinated Steak with Porter Gorgonzola Butter… talk about melt in your mouth delicious! Incredibly moist and tender.And again…the flavours were amazing!! Received the best ever compliment…was told it tasted just like were sitting in New Orleans (Best food EVER on that vacation). Thanks for your awesome recipes!!


Leanne Willard January 20, 2016 um 9:10 pm

This sounds great! What kind of beer do you suggest pairing with this dish–stout?


Jackie January 21, 2016 um 12:04 pm

No, I’d pair something with the scallops rather than the dressing but something that can hold up to the dressing. Maybe a saison or a bier de grade.


Mary February 23, 2018 um 6:53 pm

Just made brined my scallops with an IPA, wrapped them in partially cooked bacon and baked them for 12-15 minutes at 425 …excellent! The bacon did not overwhelm the scallops. Thanks, Jackie!


Jennifer February 14, 2020 um 8:45 pm

This salad is amazing. I brined the scallops with Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and made the dressing with Santa Clara Valley Brewing Peralta porter. It came out so good. Paired it with Chimay Cinq Cents Ale. This was my first time cooking scallops at home and it was perfect.


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