Pan-Seared Sea Scallops with Herbed Orzo and Parmesan
Acini di pepe (which is similar to orzo, but smaller), ditalini pasta (larger than orzo), and small orecchiette all work well with this recipe and perform well hot or cold.
- 2 pounds sea scallops untreated and tendon removed
- 2 teaspoons salt separated
- ¾ teaspoon white pepper
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pound orzo
- 5 cups vegetable stock
- ¼ cup pine nuts toasted
- ½ cup chives chopped
- 1 cup parmesan cheese shaved
- ►Arrange scallops on a large rimmed baking sheet lined with paper towels. Place more paper towels on top of scallops, then top with another large rimmed baking sheet for 5 to 10 minutes to absorb excess moisture.
- ►Remove top baking sheet and towels from scallops. Season with salt and pepper. Working in three batches, heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil per batch in non-stick skillet over high heat until smoking. Place of scallops around the circumference of the pan, flat side down for 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove from heat and transfer to plate or baking dish. Repeat these steps, allowing the pan and oil to reheat before starting each batch.
- ►After the final batch, wipe pan clean with paper towel. Set heat to medium- high and add olive oil. Once oil is shimmering, add orzo and stir until coated with oil, then add vegetable stock and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and cook until orzo is al dente and almost all the liquid is dissolved, about 5 to 7 minutes.
- ►Transfer orzo to serving platter, arrange scallops on top, and finish with pine nuts, chives, and parmesan. Serve with a side of lemon slices if desired.