Home Life & DIY

Seared Scallops with Fresh Tomato-Basil Sauce and Orzo

I brought the mail in and had a good laugh: somehow my husband had been put on a subscription list for Southern Living magazine. No idea how, and he’s the last person I would think to have one.  Before I tossed it in the recycling bin, I flipped through to see what they had going on and was pleasantly surprised of how many delicious recipes they had. I decided to try one out and so glad I did. It’s a perfect family dish for the summer, takes less than 30 minutes and is under $20. I also made a few modifications from the original recipe.

What you need:

1/4 cup olive oil, divided

1 cup thinly sliced sweet onion

1-1/2 Tbsp. minced garlic (about 6 cloves)

2 pt. cherry tomatoes

1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil, divided

1-1/4 tsp kosher ssalt, divided

3/4 tsp. black pepper, divided

16 dry-packed jumbo scallops (about 1 lb)

**tip from SL- jumbo scallops are three times larger than bay scallops and have a sweet, delicate flavor. Dr-packed scallops are sold without extra water or preservatives, which helps them brown nicely. They have a shorter shelf life than wet-packed scallops, so cook them on the same day you buy them.**

1-1/2 cups uncooked orzo pasta

1/4 cup salted butter

2 Tbsp. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

fresh lemon juice (to taste)

What to do:


  1. Cook orzo according to package directions.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high. Add onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and beginning to brown, 3 to 4 minutes.
  3. Add garlic; cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Add tomatoes (, 2 tablespoons of the basil, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of the pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes burst and release their juices, 6 to 7 minutes. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens slightly, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl; cover and keep warm.
  4. Drain orzo and stir in butter and parsley
  5. Wipe skillet used to make the tomato sauce clean. Pat scallops dry with paper towels, and season with remaining 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in skillet over high. Add scallops (drizzle with lemon juice if desired), and cook until golden brown, about 1 minute and 30 seconds per side. (Do not overcook.) 
  6. Divide orzo among serving plates; top each with about 2/3 cup tomato sauce and 4 scallops. Sprinkle evenly with remaining 2 tablespoons basil.