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:
- Cook orzo according to package directions.
- 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.
- 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.
- Drain orzo and stir in butter and parsley
- 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.)
- Divide orzo among serving plates; top each with about 2/3 cup tomato sauce and 4 scallops. Sprinkle evenly with remaining 2 tablespoons basil.