Pistachio Crusted Scallops with Winter Citrus Salsa

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pistachio crusted scallops

I’ve been craving citrus lately, maybe it’s because January is such a cold and gloomy month and all that colorful citrus just brightens my day, I don’t know but I’m sure loving all the different varieties that are available right now. I recently made this salsa using my favorite cara cara, blood and navel oranges, the vibrant flavors pair wonderfully with sweet and buttery sea scallops, it was the perfect match, but if you’re not a fan  of scallops I’m sure any firm white fish would work just as well.

The scallops are crusted with finely chopped pistachio’s, a little butter and parsley, and I can only describe the two combinations as luxurious, and both the salsa and the scallops are ridiculously simple to make!

winter citrus salsa You can make your salsa earlier in the day and have that all ready to go, it takes a little time cutting the segments and removing all the pith, but other than that this whole meal comes together very quickly.

pistachio crusted salsa I only buy dry packed sea scallops and I still press them on paper towel to make sure they’re as dry as possible, dry scallops guarantee a beautiful sear.

pistachio crusted scallops

After your scallops are seared and finished cooking, which is only a couple of minutes, you press your nut mixture on top and spoon that lovely citrus salsa onto the plate.

pistachio crusted scallops

This is an elegant, light, scrumptious meal, like fine dining at home, a contender for Valentine’s Day for sure!

pistachio crusted scallops

I can’t wait to make this again.

(Want to see what I’m cooking up during the week? Check out Proud Italian Cook on Instagram )

5.0 from 1 reviews
Pistachio Crusted Scallops with Winter Citrus Salsa
  • 3 different varieties of orange citrus like cara cara, mineola, navel, blood orange, cut into small segments with pith removed.
  • 2 or 3 tablespoons of red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  • half a clove of garlic, grated on a microplane
  • a small bunch of chopped parsley
  • a dash of red pepper flakes, optional
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • olive oil to loosen the salsa up
  • half cup of pistachios, I used the toasted ones from Trader Joes, chop them up small in mini food processor or by hand
  • 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons of finely chopped parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 pound SEA SCALLOPS, dry packed, padded dry with paper towel and beard removed
  • additional butter for searing scallops, season with salt and pepper
  1. In a bowl mix together all salsa ingredients, set aside.Salsa can be made ahead of time.
  2. For the pistachio topping, chop nuts and place into a small bowl. Melt tablespoon of butter then toss in the parsley, stir, then add butter mixture into the chopped pistachios stirring well to coat all of the nuts completely.
  3. For the scallops, heat your pan nice and hot, do not use a non-stick pan.
  4. Add 1 or 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter or a mixture of olive oil and butter to the hot pan, when fat begins to smoke then add scallops, make sure they are not touching each other.
  5. Do not disturb until the underside is browned and crisp around 2 to 4 minutes then turn over gently with tongs and cook another 2 minutes on the other side,remove to serving plate.
  6. Pat the nut mixture on top of each scallop.
  7. Spoon citrus salsa all around, serve immediately and enjoy!



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  1. Marie, fine dining indeed! This is a beautiful dish, just the thing for people stuck in the gloom of a hideous January storm.
    The combo of pistachios and citrus is so lovely, and even though I don’t eat seafood (yes, it is true) I bet this tastes divine. Stay warm, and enjoy this dish!

  2. You are such an inspiration — even though MY dishes don’t turn out quite as beautifully as yours. The citrus salsa will be perfect once my hubby starts catching his fish. One month and just a few flounder and sea trout 🙁 But it should start warming up soon and I will definitely make your recipe with one of his catch. I’ll keep my eye out for some good scallops. Psst!! I have something to whisper. Every time I’ve used scallops in a recipe they turned out – beh!! I’ll have to try it your way. I hate spending that amount of money on seafood and having it true out mediocre. Love, love, love your colors. They put a smile on my face. Have a wonderful day!!

  3. Stunning! I’ve been craving scallops lately and appreciate your tip about drying them well to get a good sear. I have to pin this.

  4. Marie!!! Just gorgeous!!! I love my scallops perfectly seared with tons of citrus!!! Lovely darling! Have a great weekend!

  5. I adore everything about this recipe, Marie. I adore scallops. I adore citrus. I adore pistachios. This is a stunning dish, and for sure, I have to make it. It’s healthy, and beautiful. Hmmmm, just like you. 🙂

  6. Cant wait to make these they sound scrumptious I have done this with flounder but scallops are my favorite!