Pistachio Crusted Scallops with Winter Citrus Salsa

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.

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5.0 from 1 reviews
Pistachio Crusted Scallops with Winter Citrus Salsa
 
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Ingredients
  • 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
  • PISTACHIO TOPPING
  • 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
Instructions
  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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Plank Grilling with Fish

oak planked white fish

When you fire up the grill this summer don’t forget to throw on some fish, it makes for a nice light and healthy meal. I recently grilled a beautiful White Fish Filet on a Red Oak Plank.

oak planked whitefish

I’m a big fan of plank grilling, the wood infuses the fish with a delicious smoky flavor and it also keeps the fish nice and moist. The main thing to remember is to soak your planks at least two hours beforehand submerged in water to ensure there won’t be any flair ups on the grill.

I always grill my planked fish on indirect heat and cook it until opaque.

oak planked whitefish

There’s no real recipe, just keep everything simple. I brushed my filet with melted garlic butter, sprinkled it with paprika, then placed whole chives and fresh parsley leaves from my garden right on top, of course any herb combination would work as well, use whatever you like.

Take a few garden tomatoes, dice them up small, place in a bowl and add a few chopped herbs of your choice, add in some olive oil, salt and pepper and spoon it over the top while it’s cooking.

oak planked whitefish

All the juices mingle together along with the infused wood and create an amazing flavor!

salmon wrapped jumbo scallops

Here’s a brilliant idea that I can’t take credit for, Salmon Wrapped Jumbo Scallops, isn’t it pretty? I actually bought it like this, but it’s so easy to create yourself, which I’ll be doing  next time, or you might even want to ask your fishmonger to do it for you.

Three jumbo scallops with a strip of salmon wrapped between them and stuck on a skewer.

If you don’t want to stick them on a skewer, think about individually wrapping a strip of salmon all the way around each scallop, you can even use some thinner smoked salmon, why not?

This would be perfect for a nice intimate dinner party or special dinner, I think it’s really a pretty presentation.

salmon wrapped jumbo scallops

I cooked it on a cedar plank the exact same way I did the white fish, brushed with garlic butter, (no paprika) and then the tomato and herb topping. The slightly smoky cedar taste infused the salmon and scallops and it was a match made in heaven!

salmon wrapped jumbo scallops

Everything was so juicy and moist, I can’t wait to make it again, I hope you try it too!

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Seared Scallops with Pea Puree

seared scallops with pea puree

Here’s an impressive dish that takes maybe twenty minutes or so, and it tastes divine!

seared scallops with pea puree

Buttery rich perfectly seared scallops get placed on top of a pea puree flavored with garlic, shallots, a little cream and lemon zest, it’s ethereal!

 

seared scallops with pea puree

Each bite gets swiped into the dreamy sauce for the perfect explosion of flavors!seared scallops in pea puree

I have to thank my friend Stacey and Saveur for the inspiration for this dish, I will be making it again and again!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Seared Scallops with Pea Puree
 
An impressive dish, easy to prepare and tastes divine!
Author:
Ingredients
  • Dinner for two!
  • 8 large, dry natural scallops
  • 1 bag of frozen peas, 1 lb.
  • 1 cup of water or broth
  • ⅔ cup of half and half, or more if needed to loosen puree
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 1 large garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons, unsalted butter
  • olive oil for searing scallops
  • zest of 1 lemon
Instructions
  1. Add butter in a skillet over medium heat, add garlic and shallots and cook until soft.
  2. Add peas and 1 cup of water or broth and cook until sauce is reduced.
  3. Set aside 1½ cups of the cooked peas, keep warm
  4. Place the remaining pea mixture into a food processor, add the half and half, a pinch of the lemon zest and salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Pulse until you get a nice creamy consistency that you desire, I did not make mine completely smooth.You can add more cream if so desired.
  6. Place in a small sauce pan and keep warm.
  7. For the scallops, get your skillet nice and hot, do not use a nonstick pan.
  8. Salt and pepper your scallops and make sure they are dry.
  9. When pan is nice and hot drizzle olive oil on the bottom.
  10. Place scallops in pan and don't move them until you see a dark golden crust form.
  11. Flip them over when crust is formed, cook for 1 more minute, then remove.
  12. To plate spread pea puree on a plate, add scallops and sprinkle some of those reserved whole peas all around.
  13. Garnish with a little lemon zest on top or if your lucky to find some lemon flaked salt like I did, you can use that instead.

 

 

 

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Pesto Stuffed Scallops

pesto stuffed scallops I can honestly say I went a bit overboard in planting basil this year so I’ve been very busy making lots of pesto, but to me nothing tastes better than fresh homemade pesto! Every time I’ve bought pesto from a store I was so disappointed, it’s either way too garlicky or has a weird fake taste, so I prefer to make my own. Homemade pesto is so easy to make yourself and you can whip up a huge batch because it freezes perfectly. Just think how nice it would be to pull out a container of your pesto in the dead of winter and plop a dollop in a nice bowl of hot soup.

I also use it on my eggs, frittatas, grilled veggies, fresh tomatoes, meats, crostini, pastas and I especially love it with fish of all kinds. Have you ever tried smearing pesto on top of a beautiful piece of salmon and then baking it? It’s so flavorful, moist and delicious! I also love it on grilled shrimp and scallops. Here’s my pesto recipe.

I never thought of actually stuffing a scallop with pesto until I came across an article that Mark Bittman wrote which gave me the inspiration to make my own and another good excuse to use my homemade pesto.

pesto stuffed scallops It’s ridiculously simple to do, but you must use the large sea scallops and not the small bay ones. Just take a sharp knife and make a horizontal slit in the middle being very careful not to cut all the way through, you want your scallop butterflied, then put a small teaspoon of pesto inside. Salt and pepper your scallops then place them into a saute pan ( not a non stick)  that’s been heated on medium heat with a little olive oil. Cook 2 to 3 minutes on each side being careful when your turning them over. That’s it!

pesto stuffed scallops I placed mine into a pool of warm roasted red pepper sauce, but you could also use a light marinara sauce just as well. The flavor combination is dynamic!

pesto stuffed scallops

I served this as a main course with fresh green beans and summer corn but it would also be wonderful as an appetizer to start off your meal.

It’s simple, healthy, quick to make and the summery basil pesto takes it right over the top! Now pour a glsss of cold Sauvignon Blanc and you’re good to go!

 

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