Still looking for a delicious, impressive looking meal to make this weekend? Well look no further.
In last week's post, 7 romantic date night at home ideas, I mentioned that Noah and I frequently cook together as a way of turning a normal night into a date night. I also showed off these pesto marinated seared scallops. Today, I'm going to share the recipe with you!
These glorious, juicy-on-the-inside and crispy-on-the-outside jumbo scallops are marinated first in basil pesto for a rich blend of herbs and buttery seafood. The bonus? It's incredibly, ridiculously easy to make and also simultaneously makes you look like an accomplished chef. Plus, they practically melt in your mouth, I'm actually salivating remembering having eaten them! My God, they were. So. Good.
Want to find out how to make your own, and impress your one true love this weekend? Of course you do! Read on, my friend.
The trick to these glorious mounds of soft scallop-y goodness is buying the right kind of scallops. Make sure you buy dry scallops, not wet ones.
The difference is that 'wet' scallops have been treated with a chemical called tripolyphosphate (STP), which isn't harmful to eat but artificially inflates the scallops to make them look bigger and have a longer shelf life. But STP also makes scallops nearly impossible to sear correctly, and changes the flavor. When you put a 'wet' scallop in a buttered pan for searing it releases that artificial moisture and you don't get the crispy golden crust or the creamy flavor. Yes, 'dry' scallops do cost more, but if you're going to splurge on scallops, man, spend the bit of extra money to get the right ones. I promise it's worth it. I got mine at Whole Foods, and they were worth every penny.
So start by buying the right scallops!
Perfectly Seared Pesto-Marinated Scallops Recipe
8-12 jumbo 'dry' scallops
1 jar of pesto
2 Tbsp butter (for searing)
1. Take your scallops and place them in a shallow bowl. Pour your pesto over your scallops and gently stir until all the scallops are coated. Let them sit and marinate for about an hour.
2. Melt your butter in a pan large enough to lay all your scallops in, over medium high heat. Make sure your pan is fully hot before adding the scallops.
3. Set your scallops in the heated pan. Let them sit for a few minutes without touching them for the love of God, until a careful lift reveals that a crispy golden crust has formed on the bottom. Seriously, do not flip them until a crust is formed. That crust is the make it or break it feature of a perfectly seared scallop!
4. Once the crust has formed, flip them all and let the other side just sear a moment. you want the edges of you scallop to remain white and pale, the insides still juicy and soft. Once the second side cooks a tiny bit, pull them off and you're done! If you're feeling extra fancy you can scoop some of the (now) pesto-infused butter out of the pan and spoon it over your scallops for a little extra flavor.
These are amazing on their own, but Noah and I paired them with some freshly steamed spaghetti squash noodles and the pesto-butter sauce for an absolutely amazing meal. I loved pesto as a marinade so much, I've got plans to try it on other meats in the extremely near future as well. Next up: Pesto marinated grilled chicken breasts!