Pan Seared Scallops and Superfood Pesto
These Pan Seared Scallops and Roasted Cherry Tomatoes pair perfectly with my Superfood Pesto recipe, made up of kale, spinach and basil!
I'm all about eating healthier, more vibrant meals right now, especially heading into the spring season. But while it's still cold, I also love treating myself to comforting, rich foods like pasta!
These Pan Seared Scallops are placed atop of a bed of superfood pesto-covered orzo.
Phew, that was a mouthful wasn't it?
But seriously, you really CAN get all your greens in while satisfying those taste buds. I mean, I know we're adults and we don't have to trick ourselves into eating more veggies…but a few carbs should help convince you. 😉
I handcrafted this super easy superfood pesto with just six simple ingredients: basil, extra virgin olive oil, spinach, kale, parmesan cheese, and garlic.
I don't really bother with the pine nuts, which I know is traditionally supposed to go in pesto (superfood pesto or not), mostly because they are so dang expensive!!! Any way I can save a buck or two I will. This pesto is delicious enough in its own right, and it can be kept in the fridge as leftovers for up to about a week, or you can even freeze it.
Ummm say hello to your next last minute condiment, dipping sauce and pasta sauce.
Searing scallops may seem like quite the daunting task, but all it takes is that stopwatch on your phone and a fork for precision. One of my top tips is to heat your frying pan on high heat, and until the oil is smoking. Next, pan-sear each scallop for 1 minute per side depending on their size, flipping with a fork or spatula.
I mixed my superfood pesto with some freshly boiled orzo pasta, and topped it with roasted cherry tomatoes, fresh parsley and yellow pepper – nothing better than some fresh seasonal produce right?!
There are so many stars in this meal beyond just the pesto though: I roasted cherry tomatoes in the oven with a bit of garlic, olive oil, salt & pepper for about ten minutes, and they provide a fantastic finish to this pasta. This meal is seriously gourmet and not for the faint of heart.
The other great thing about this dish is that everything takes around the same cooking time, from the scallops to the pesto preparation to the cherry tomatoes and the pasta. Have it all ready in 20 minutes. I can't promise the clean up will be as easy but this meal is definitely worth it.
To top off my dish – and to add in one more superfood – I chopped up some flat leaf parsley and mixed it into my pesto-laden orzo pasta! A variety of healthy fats, lean protein and plenty of veggies: now that's what I call an amazing weeknight night meal!
These Pan Seared Scallops are going to become a regular rotation in your meal planning efforts, trust me. All you have to do now is wish you had the money to afford scallops every single week.
Wouldn't that be great?!
Let me know if you end up trying this recipe in the comments – I'd love to hear from you!
Pan Seared Scallops and Superfood Pesto
- One package frozen medium-sized sea scallops
- 1 red onion diced
- Half package dried Orzo
- One package cherry/grape tomatoes
- One yellow pepper chopped
- Bunch of fresh flat-leaved parsley
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- One bunch fresh basil
- Handful of baby spinach leaves
- leaves Fourof kale
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1/8 cup olive oil
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Lemon juice to taste optional
- Red pepper flakes to taste optional
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Defrost scallops carefully in microwave, checking every few seconds so as not to cook them. Dry them bit by bit to the best of your ability with paper towel. Once dried, season with salt and pepper. Put aside.
- Cook orzo according to package directions. Meanwhile, wash cherry tomatoes and place on oven pan covered in parchment paper. Drizzle in olive oil and season with salt and pepper, plus a little bit of the minced garlic leftover from the pesto.
- While cherry tomatoes are cooking, combine pesto ingredients in a food processor or small blender like a Magic Bullet (that's what we use!). You may need to add a bit of water to get it to blend well.
- Drain orzo and mix 1/2 tbsp of olive oil in so the pasta doesn't dry while sitting. Meanwhile, heat large frying pan with 2 tbsp of olive oil on high until oil starts to smoke. Drop scallops in and sear for 45 seconds each side, flipping with a fork.
- Remove cherry tomatoes from oven, and set aside. Mix pesto and orzo together and heat on stovetop along with yellow pepper and red onion. Alternatively, you can drizzle the pesto overtop of your orzo if you want a more controlled serving.
- Remove from heat and top each serving of orzo and pesto mixture with cherry tomatoes and scallops. You can also add a bit of freshly grated parmesan if you'd like! Enjoy!