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Seared Scallops with Fresh Cilantro Pesto

Seared scallops 1

Seared Scallops with Fresh Cilantro Pesto

 These scallops make a great first course, but you can easily serve it as main course by mixing the pesto with pasta. I use cilantro  because it grows so well in the garden, but you can easily substitute your favorite pesto – basil or sun dried tomato would work well.

Download Seared Scallops with Fresh Cilantro Pesto

 1 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves 

¼ cup fresh parsley or baby spinach leaves

1 tablespoon toasted pine nuts 

1-2 medium cloves garlic, chopped coarse

1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Pinch of coarse kosher salt 

Pinch of ground black pepper 

1/4 cup olive oil 

 3/4 pound sea scallops, about 16, small side muscles removed

1 tablespoon olive oil 

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1.    Pulse cilantro, pine nuts, garlic, zest, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in bowl of food processor until minced. With processor running, slowly add oil. Process until smooth; set aside.

2.    Sprinkle scallops on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat large (11-inch) sauté pan over medium-high heat until hot, about 1 minute. Add half the oil; swirl to coat bottom. Add butter and continue to heat pan until butter begins to turn golden brown. Add half the scallops, one at a time, flat side down; cook, adjusting heat as necessary to prevent fat from burning, until scallops are well browned, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes.

3.Using tongs, turn scallops, one at a time; cook 1 to 1 1/2 minutes longer, depending on size. Repeat cooking process using remaining half of oil and scallops.

4.    Serve 2-3 scallops on a small dollop of pesto. 

Seared scallops pan



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I love Celantro Pesto, I often make this...I add just a little balsamic in addition to your recipe. I have not tried it with scallops however and I can't wait. Perfect for my next dinner party...thank you thank you thank you.


HI Patty - Balsamic sounds like a nice touch - let me know how they turn out!


this is amazing & very easy! thank you for the recipe :)

Katerina Duarte aka Food Advokat

When do you have the time! So delicious! Love me some scallops! When I become rich and famous I will buy a house in Hudson, NY and we will cook for days! So wonderful seeing you again after such a long time. xoxo K


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