Last night I had to dig deep. I really wasn’t in the mood to cook, procrastinating all day long before I even gave dinner a thought. When the dinner hour approaches and you have no ideas in mind, and almost nothing sounds appetizing other than take-out, the temptation to pick up the phone and place an order is real.
We all have these uninspired days when you feel like you’ve had too much chicken or, at this point in winter, soup. I’ve been trying to keep things fresh and exciting, but as simple as possible.
Resisting all temptation to go get burritos, I drove to my favorite market and made it to the seafood counter. And there, just beautiful and glistening behind the glass, were the most gorgeous scallops. Meaty and pearly white, I knew it was just what I needed to get out of my rut.
Seared Scallops with Citrus Salsa are the perfect antidote to avoiding the kitchen, if you ask me. The beauty of scallops, other than simply being delicious, is that they cook in mere minutes; limited time can never be an excuse for not having something delicious for dinner.
To keep things bright, I made a citrus salsa with some of the beautiful winter citruses we have on hand — I was a little overzealous at the market and had perhaps too many cara cara and blood oranges in the fruit bowl. And since quinoa is a quick-cooking seed that matches the rapid cook of scallops, I served the scallops and citrus salsa over a quinoa pilaf.
Simple and wholesome, these scallops were a huge hit with my family! It felt like a weeknight indulgence — and truly, this dish is elegant enough that you could serve it as a cozy dinner for two, for a dinner party, or simply when you’ve run out of time, the latter of which seems to happen a lot, in my case.
More Quick Cooking Seafood Dinners to Try
Seared Scallops with Citrus Salsa
- 3 teaspoons olive oil divided
- 1 1/4 pounds large sea scallops
- kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups chopped citrus e.g. mandarin, tangerine, blood orange
- 1/4 cup minced red onion
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- 1 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- Cooked quinoa for serving
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds
- 1/2 cup finely chopped scallions
- Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, heat about 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Working in batches, lightly season the scallops with salt and pepper, and sear for about 2 minutes, or until golden brown on one side. Flip the scallops and cook for about 2-3 minutes more, until the other side is also golden brown. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
- In a small bowl, stir together the citrus, onion, cilantro and lime juice. Season to taste with kosher salt.
- In a separate bowl, stir together the quinoa, almonds, scallions, and remaining teaspoon of olive oil. Season to taste with kosher salt.
- Serve the scallops with cooked quinoa and top with citrus salsa.