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pound whole wheat pasta
Place the eucalyptus into hot olive oil and let it sit for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Strain the leaves and branches out with a mesh strainer and reserve the oil. Be sure to press on the leaves and branches to harvest as much oil and flavor as possible.
In a food processor, blend the cheese, garlic, spinach, and walnuts. Slowly add in the oil while the machine is running.
Cook the pasta. When it is ready, strain, reserving about a half cup of the pasta water. Immediately mix the pasta and water with the pesto.
Sear the scallops on both sides.
Put the pasta on a plate to serve and top with scallops.
Pesto Scallops – Scallops Recipe, Can Use Sea or Bay Scallops
I have been so thrilled to be able to buy quality seafood online especially since going shopping is just not happening right now. Ordering shrimp, scallops, and fish from places like Know Seafood have made keeping high quality seafood on hand affordable and simple. Scallops are probably my favorite seafood and I’ve shared various recipes like Air Fryer Scallops and Pan Seared Scallops with Ginger Pineapple .
ALL PURCHASE LINKS ARE AFFILIATE LINKS. IF YOU MAKE A PURCHASE I RECEIVE A SMALL COMMISSION (AT NO ADDITIONAL CHARGE TO YOU)
- 1 lb bay scallops, thawed
- 2 TBS sherry
- 1 TBS lemon juice
- 1 TBS olive oil
- 2 TBS all purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/4 cup pesto, homemade or store bought
- 1 TBS pine nuts, toasted
- 2 cups cooked Jasmine rice
- Pat scallops dry. Mix flour and salt in a bowl. Add scallops and toss to coat.
- Heat a large saute pan over medium high heat. Add olive oil.
- Toss the scallops into the hot pan and let cook for three minutes.
- Remove the scallops from the pan and return the pan to the heat. Add the sherry and lemon juice and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and add the scallops back into the pan.
- Cook the scallops in the sauce until they are cooked through, about 5 minutes.
- Place a cup of Jasmine rice on each plate. Top with half of the scallops and drizzle with half of the pesto. Sprinkle with half of pine nuts.
How Were the Pesto Scallops?
This was a tasty dinner. The bay scallops are wonderfully sweet and the pesto was just a delightful flavor to pair with them. These sweet bay scallops don’t require a lot of cooking so the meal comes together pretty quickly. I am so happy that it’s possible to access to such quality seafood – especially out here in beef country.
If you would like to try the seafood from Know Seafood I can offer you $25 off (I also get the same discount) on orders of $125 or more. Just use this COUPON link.
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Seared Scallops with Creamy Basil Pesto Sauce
Seared Scallops with Creamy Basil Pesto Sauce is so simple and looks so impressive on a plate. I garnished these beauties with a little squeeze of lemon juice and zest to bring out some brightness. Serve with your favorite pasta or roasted veggies for a whole meal.
To properly sear scallops, you’ll need a heavy bottomed skillet like a cast iron skillet or a stainless steel pan. These are the best conductors of high heat to give your scallops a nice crusty golden sear.
You want to make sure your pan is nice and hot before adding your oil and scallops to the pan. When turning, don’t try to force the scallops, if they’re stuck to the pan wait a few more seconds before trying to turn them again, they’ll release from the pan when they’re ready. Also, make sure the scallops are completely pat dry. They’ll turn out perfectly cooked every time you follow these simple steps.
Serve for an elegant date night meal or for an impressive appetizer. Either way it will be perfect for any occasion.
Seared Scallops with Creamy Basil Pesto Sauce
The key to a nice golden sear on scallops is to dry them thoroughly. Make sure when you go to buy them they're dry packed and not sitting in liquid. This makes them retain the moisture and then they won't brown.
- 1 pound Large Scallops, completely pat dry
- Kosher Salt and Ground Black Pepper, for seasoning
- 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1/3 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
- 1/2 cup Basil Pesto, homemade or store bought
- Lemon, zested for garnish
- Parsley, chopped for garnish
- Step 1 In a medium sized cast iron skillet or stainless steel pan heat to high heat. Season the scallops with kosher salt and ground black pepper.
- Step 2 Add oil and scallops to the pan. Sear 2 minutes on one side until golden brown and 1 minute on the other side. Remove to a serving plate.
- Step 3 Meanwhile, in a sauce pan heat cream over medium heat. Simmer until thickened, about 2-3 minutes. Turn heat off and whisk in pesto.
- Step 4 Spoon pesto sauce over scallops and garnish with lemon zest and chopped parsley. Serve immediately.
Try to look for “dry” packed scallops. Avoid any scallops that are sitting in liquid. This will hinder the sear you want.
Make sure you thoroughly pat dry the scallops before seasoning.
Scallops won’t get that beautiful caramelized crust unless the outside is dry.
High heat and a heavy bottomed pan like cast iron or a stainless steel pan, is key to searing.
You can prepare the sauce easily before or after the scallops cook or if you’re good at multi-tasking you can make it during.
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Perfectly Seared Scallops with Basil Pesto
Easter is coming up next Sunday, I know hard to believe! We typically host an Easter brunch or dinner at our house and this year I wanted to change up the typical menu. I decided to add in some light and delicate perfectly pan seared scallops with basil pesto as an appetizer. After all, of that delicious Easter candy you just gorged on you will need something on the lighter side!
Scallops are a prime example of a food that is so simple to cook yet so easy to screw up! I have messed up a few batches of scallops in my day. Um hello rubbery round pieces of shellfish. Yuk! Therefore, I have to admit that I just do not cook them that often, that is until this past summer. When my sister from France was visiting her hubby made the most amazing Linguini Frutti di Mare. He said that there is one key tip to cooking the perfect scallop. What is that tip? It is so super simple make sure you heat your pan on high and sauté over high heat! That is it, your scallops will cook to perfection with a nice outer crust and a melt in your mouth interior. Since then I have cooked scallops several times, my son certainly appreciated that. He absolutely loves to eat scallops, which is kind of weird right for a ten year old? Ohh well I am not complaining one bit about that!
Scallops have such a mild flavor that they pair well with several ingredients, lemon, butter, even honey sriracha! I opted for a fresher flavor pairing using my recipe for Basil Pesto as a garnish. Basil Pesto provides the right amount of herb flavor without overpowering the delicate scallop.
What holiday meal would be complete without an amazing wine? I decided to pair these perfectly seared scallops with Paradigm Rose of Merlot. We have been enjoying the Paradigm wines for years now. The Rose of Merlot is our go to wine for spring and summer family dinners or date night! The aromatics are clean and fresh with hints of strawberries, honeysuckle, and pink grapefruit, perfect for pairing with shellfish. I frequently pair Paradigm wines with my special occasion meals because their wines are full of elegant flavor. From their signature Cabernet Sauvignon to their Zinfandel Paradigm wines represent the best of Napa Valley winemaking. If you are interested in learning more about Paradigm wines especially their Rose of Merlot you can find information directly on their website.
Now that you know the secret tip to prepare perfectly seared scallops, get cooking and enjoy your holiday weekend!
- 1 pound sea scallops, patted dry
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Freshly ground sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Lemon for squeezing
Rinse scallops with cold water and pat dry with a paper towel.
Add the butter and oil to a large sauté pan over high heat. It is very important that the pan be heated thoroughly otherwise, your scallops will stick to the pan.
Generously salt and pepper the scallops.
Once the butter/oil combo begins to smoke, add the scallops to the pan, making sure they are not touching.
Sear scallops for 1 ½ to 2 minutes on each side depending on the size of scallop.
The scallops should have a nice golden crust on each side and be translucent in the center.