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  • Writer's pictureCulinary Cam

Scallop Crudo with Pixies and Pickled Strawberries

I hadn't planned to make this for my birthday dinner, but after my trail run through Point Lobos, I swung by the Sea Harvest fish market and couldn't contain myself. I added several seafood appetizers to my birthday dinner party for two.

Crudo means 'raw' in Italian. And, like any recipe that involves serving a protein raw, make sure you are using the freshest, highest quality ingredients. You can ask your trusted fish monger if the seafood is 'sushi-grade' or 'sashimi-grade.' Crudo is usually dressed with nothing more than a drizzle of olive oil, a squeeze of citrus, and salt and pepper.

You can see another crudo that I made with halibut and shared in The Feast of Twelve Fishes: La Vigilia di Natale v.2023. But for my birthday, I wanted to feature some of the fresh Ojai Pixie mandarins I had recently gotten from a high school friend and the luscious strawberries I found at the Serendipity Farms stand. So my scallop pieces are on a bed of quick pickled strawberries and onions.

You can use any good quality olive oil that you have. But if you want to mirror the flavors in your dish, pick a good quality co-milled oil. For example, as my finishing drizzle, I used the co-milled Blood Orange Olive Oil from local-to-me The Quail & Olive.


Quick-Pickled Strawberries

  • 2/3 cup diced strawberries

  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced onions

  • 3/4 cup vinegar (I used an ume plum vinegar)


  • sushi-grade scallops

  • olive oil

  • salt

  • pepper

  • freshly squeezed mandarin juice


  • mandarins, peeled and sliced

  • capers

  • herbs (I used dill)

  • edible petals, optional

  • olive oil


Quick-Pickled Strawberries

Place vinegar and onions in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer and cook for a minute. The onions should soften. Remove from heat and stir in strawberries. Let marinated for at least 1 hour or up to 4 hours.


Pat the scallops dry and slice into 1/4-inch coins. Place on a plate. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and freshly squeezed mandarin juice. Let stand for at least 15 minutes.


Spoon the quick-pickled strawberries and onions in the bottom of a serving bowl. Arrange the scallops on top of the strawberries. I clustered the coins together to resemble flowers. Capers formed the "stamens" of the scallop flowers. Garnish with mandarin slices and scatter with edible petals, if using. Sprinkle with more black pepper and another drizzle of olive oil.

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