Monday, July 2, 2012

Seared Scallops with Lemon Orzo

Fast, good, cheap. Pick two.
This dinner reminded me of that sign, so often seen hanging in car repair shops. Fast? Yes. Heating up the oven to roast the zucchini was the longest single component of this meal. Good? Oh yes. Even though Joe kept trying to steer me away from orzo, later he admitted he was thinking about something else and really enjoyed it. Cheap? Ha! Not so much.

Scallops are not something I frequently purchase because of the price, but when I asked Joe to pick up something from Costco that looked good, he came home with $25 worth of scallops. Even though it ended up being more than enough for 4 meals, it’s still a little pricey for an every day kind of thing.

The key to getting a good sear on the scallops is getting them dry. That way a nice crust forms. The lemon-y orzo and roasted zucchini were good side dishes. For some reason, Joe kept trying to steer me away from the orzo, but then he ended up liking it and admitted that he hadn’t really known what he was talking about. Lovely.

If you don’t mind spending a little bit more than usual, this is a very fast, elegant dish that would be great for last-minute company or if you’re just feeling fancy.


Seared Scallops with Lemon Orzo
source: Cooking Light


Cooking spray
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup uncooked orzo (rice-shaped pasta)
1 cup vegetable stock
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 1/2 pounds sea scallops
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper


  1. Heat a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion to pan; sauté 3 minutes. Stir in pasta, broth, wine, and thyme; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and pasta is al dente. Stir in chopped chives and lemon juice. Keep warm.
  2. Heat oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle scallops evenly with salt and pepper. Add scallops to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Serve with pasta mixture.