Light and Simple Seared Scallops with Mint Pesto
February 2, 2009
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
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
Watercress, mixed greens (optional)
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.