I died for this meal. I mean scallops are too, too good. They are less expensive than many other fish, easy to work with and taste amazing in 238572035823 applications. Keep in mind scallops don’t start their lives at Whole Foods. They start in a shell in the ocean so if you or your friends have a shellfish allergy they have to pass on this dish (tragedy).
You can sear these in a sauté pan but they will blow your skull if you make them in a cast iron skillet. Rinse the scallops under cold water and then pat them BONE dry. Season them like you mean it with salt/pep. If there is any weird muscle on the side of the scallop remove it .
Heat your skillet on high heat . I put a tablespoon or so of butter in my skillet but you could do olive oil. Cook for 1.5 minutes on each side. You want the scallops to have a nice golden (roughly 0.25 inch) crust.
Now if you want to get real with this dish serve it with spinach and walnut pesto like we did. In a food processor (yeah we have one woo) pulse 2 cups of baby spinach (we used regs spinach because that’s what we had), 0.25 cups of walnuts (you could do pine nuts or almonds but we had walnuts so here we are), 1.5 tablespoons of lemon juice (or more or less to taste), and 1 teaspoons lemon zest. With the machine running slowly add a third of a cup of olive oil. Add salt and pulse then stir in a third of a cup of parmesan cheese.
Okay I know the seafood gods/King Triton are mad at me because I am mixing cheese with seafood but the pesto is heavily flavored by the lemon and…well…. I guess I don’t have an excuse but hopefully they will give me a pass on this one. We shmeared some pesto on a plate, served the scallops on top with a side of Lemon Risotto. Stop but don’t stop this was so good.