I have to say this is one of my favorite dishes on the blog so far. It probably won’t get very many views when comparing it to S’mores Bites, but it’s one of my absolute favorites. Using citrus in your cooking in the winter is a great way to give yourself some hope that spring is on the way. It adds necessary freshness to a season where everything we cook is warm, brown, and mushy.
Scallops are one of the easiest proteins to make and they can take on any flavor combination. I have made Sizzling Scallops with Spicy Tomatoes before, and now these with citrus and pesto scallops which are completely opposite in flavor. The pistachio pesto gives this dish a really nice fatty, salty element. Mixing up traditional pine nut pesto with pistachios is a nice way to incorporate more protein and give the pesto a rich and creamy taste. The acidity of the citrus balances it all out to give you a well balanced, healthy dinner. Serve with any easy side dishes (orzo and asparagus come to mind) to have a great weeknight dinner!
Citrus Scallops with Pistachio Pesto
Makes: 4 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes Cooking Time: 10 minutes Total Time: 35 minutes
For Citrus Salad:
1 grapefruit, peel removed and cut into a medium dice
1 orange or blood orange, peel removed and cut into a medium dice
2 tbs honey
2 tbs vegetable oil
1 tbs minced basil leaves
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
juice of one lime
For the Pesto:
1 heaping cup fresh basil
2 cloves garlic
1/3 cup pistachio nuts
1/2 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
2 tbs olive oil
1. Make the citrus salad by combining the grapefruit, orange, and next 5 ingredients (through lime juice) in a small mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
2. Make the pesto by combining the basil, garlic, and pistachios in a food processor. Pulse to break down the basil. Turn the food processor on high and add the olive oil in a steady stream to blend and combine. Season with salt and pepper, set aside.
3. Clean the scallops, remove the side muscle, and pat dry with a paper towel. Season the scallops with salt and pepper.
4. Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Let the pan get nice and hot before adding the olive oil. Add the scallops and cook for 2 minutes per side, taking the time to individually flip each scallop so that they have a nice sear on each side. If the scallops are particularly large, cook for closer to 3 minutes per side. Remove from the heat immediately.
5. Plate the dish by smearing a good glob of pesto onto the bottom of each plate. Add 4 scallops and top with the citrus salsa.