Seared Scallops With Spinach Orzo Great for Weekend Dinner

Armen Hareyan's picture
Seared Scallops With Spinach Orzo

When you need dinner in a hurry, scallops are a great option because they must be cooked quickly for the tastiest results. For this light and flavorful dish, even the tomato sauce, made from quickly roasted grape tomatoes, is speedy. You’ll have this simple and classy meal on the table in no time.

This Seared Scallops recipe makes four servings.

1 pint grape tomatoes, cut in halves lengthwise
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1½ teaspoons balsamic vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1½ cups orzo
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
5 ounces baby spinach, rinsed but not dried
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
16 sea scallops, rinsed and patted dry with paper towels
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


To make the roasted tomato sauce, preheat the oven to 400°F. Toss the tomatoes with 1 tablespoon of the oil on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until the pan juices look caramelized, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a food processor fitted with the metal chopping blade. Add the vinegar and the remaining 2 tablespoons of the oil and pulse a few times until coarsely chopped. Season with salt and pepper. (The sauce can be made up to 2 hours ahead, kept at room temperature. Reheat in a skillet over medium heat.)
TIP True balsamic vinegar is made only in the Italian provinces of Modena or Emilia Romagna from Trebbiano grapes, which are sweeter than typical wine grapes. We use authentic aged balsamic, made by Modenaceti, which is Italy’s best-selling brand.
To make the spinach orzo, bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil over high heat. Stir in the orzo. Cook, stirring often, according the package directions until al dente.

About 5 minutes before the orzo is cooked, heat the oil and garlic together in a large saucepan over medium heat until the garlic is softened but not browned, about 3 minutes. Add the spinach with any clinging water and cook, stirring often, until wilted and tender, about 2 minutes. Drain the orzo well. Add to the spinach and stir. Season with salt and pepper. Cover with the lid ajar to keep warm.
To make the scallops, heat the oil in a very large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the scallops, flat side down, and cook until the underside is golden brown, about

2 minutes. Flip the scallops and reduce the heat to medium. Cover and cook until the other sides are golden brown and the scallops are barely opaque throughout, about 3 minutes more.

To serve, divide the orzo among 4 serving bowls. Add 4 scallops to each. Top each scallop with equal amounts of the tomato sauce. Serve hot.

TIP The dish can also be served family-style from a single large serving bowl.

Excerpt from: Carrabba's Italian Grill: Recipes from Around Our Family Table
Wiley - ISBN 978-1-118-19732 (pbk)