Light and Simple Seared Scallops with Mint Pesto

February 2, 2009

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So many friends tell me that they are intimidated to cook scallops. Really, they are so incredibly easy! They cook in no time at all in a saute pan or on the grill, and really, the only thing you need is some kosher salt, black or red pepper and a touch of olive oil. I love making scallops because they are so simple, so delicious, yet almost elegant for a weeknight supper. They are fabulous mixed with pasta, in a salad and especially just on their own. We eat them often at my house, and even my 8-year-old, Zachary, is a huge fan! The Mint Pesto is so versatile and can also be served with fish, steak, chicken or pork.


Seared Scallops with Fresh Mint Pesto 

Prep: 20 minutes

Cook: 6 minutes

Yield: Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

2/3 cup fresh mint leaves

1/2 cup fresh Italian parsley leaves

3 cloves garlic

1/4 cup almonds, toasted

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided

4 teaspoons grated lemon zest

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided

2 teaspoons olive oil

11/2 pounds large sea scallops

Cooking spray

Watercress, mixed greens (optional)

Preparation

1. Process mint, parsley, garlic, almonds, Parmesan, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, lemon zest, 1/8 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper and olive oil in a container of a food processor until smooth. Remove and set aside.

2. Drizzle scallops with remaining lemon juice and season with remaining kosher salt and pepper.

3. Heat a nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add scallops and cook 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until done. Top scallops with Mint Pesto and serve over watercress or mixed greens, if desired.

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