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Seared Scallops with Citrus Quinoa, Herbs, and Almonds

Scott Phillips

Servings: 4

Infused with bright, aromatic flavors and full of wonderfully contrasting textures, this dish offers excitement with every bite. Steaming the quinoa after simmering gives it a drier, fluffier texture.


  • 1 cup quinoa, preferably tricolor
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 Tbs. fresh orange juice
  • 2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup plus 1-1/2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-1/4 lb. dry-packed sea scallops, patted dry, side muscles removed
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
  • 3 Tbs. sliced fresh chives (1/2-inch lengths)
  • 2 Tbs. toasted almonds, coarsely chopped

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 440
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 210
  • Fat (g): 23
  • Saturated Fat (g): 3
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 3.5
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 15
  • Cholesterol (mg): 35
  • Sodium (mg): 850
  • Carbohydrates (g): 36
  • Fiber (g): 3
  • Sugar (g): 2
  • Protein (g): 24


  • In a medium bowl, cover the quinoa with cold water. Let stand 2 minutes, then drain in a sieve (one that will fit over a 4-quart saucepan) and rinse.
  • Bring a 4-quart saucepan of well-salted water to a boil. Add the quinoa and cook until almost tender, about 10 minutes. Drain well in the sieve. Bring 1 inch of water to a simmer in the saucepan. Set the sieve over but not touching the simmering water. Cover the sieve with a clean kitchen towel, then with a lid (it’s fine if it doesn’t fit tightly), and steam until the quinoa is tender and feels dry, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the orange juice, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Slowly whisk in 1/4 cup of the oil, and season with a generous pinch each of salt and pepper.
  • Heat a 12-inch cast-iron or other heavy-duty skillet over high heat for 1-1/2 minutes. Season the scallops lightly with salt and pepper. Add the remaining 1-1/2 Tbs. oil to the skillet, swirl to coat, and add the scallops. Cook without moving until well browned on one side, 2 to 3 minutes. Gently flip and cook until well browned but still slightly translucent in the center, 1 to 2 minutes more.
  • Transfer the quinoa to a large bowl, toss with the dressing, basil, chives, and almonds, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve the scallops with the quinoa.


Rate or Review

Reviews (4 reviews)

  • SydneyG | 11/24/2016

    So delicious! Almonds add a nice crunch.

  • G_MaBecky | 11/02/2016

    SO good!

  • goodmorning | 09/25/2016

    Quick, easy and so tasty! An excellent recipe! Thanks fine cooking!

  • user-33410 | 07/13/2016

    This is an excellent recipe (I followed it to the letter). Very nice way to fix quinoa, and the scallops complement it perfectly. This will become part of the standard repertoire.

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