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Seared Scallops with Pickled Peppers and Onions

Scallops can be a little pricey but if you watch, they do go on sale every now and then. This was one of those times that Whole Foods was running a special and I took full advantage.

The sea scallop is the largest of the scallops. You usually get around 10 scallops in one pound. They can be bought fresh or frozen, Scallops freeze well, so if they are on sale or you buy too many, freeze them for later use. The raw meat is creamy white in color and sometimes slightly orange due to the food (algae) they consume. Scallops have a distinct, sweet odor when they are fresh. Always take care not to overcook them; they toughen easily. As soon as they lose their translucence and turn opaque, they are done.

This recipe from Cook's Country highlights the natural sweetness of scallops and counters that sweetness with citrus and briney peppers. The ingredient list is short, as well as the time you will spend prepping and cooking. My favorite part about this dinner is how stunning it looks on the plate - pretty enough and definitely tasty enough to serve to company.


½ cup pepperoncini peppers, chopped, plus 2 tablespoons brine

½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided

4 scallions, sliced thin

Kosher salt and pepper

1 ½ pounds large sea scallops, tendons removed

Make relish

Combine pepperoncini and brine, 2 tablespoons oil, scallions, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a bowl; set aside.

Sear scallops

Pat scallops dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until the oil is just smoking. Add half of the scallops in single layer and cook without moving them until well browned, about 1 1/2 minutes. Flip scallops and cook without moving them until the second side is well browned, about 1 1/2 minutes longer. Transfer scallops to plate and tent loosely with foil. Repeat with remaining 1 tablespoon oil and remaining scallops. Arrange scallops over [whatever you decide] and top with pepperoncini mixture. Serve.

Scallops can be served on a bed of….. you fill in the blank.

Tomato studded couscous with parsley was in the original recipe.

Pictured is a package of Central Market microwavable quinoa that has been dressed up with chopped tomato, parsley and an easy vinaigrette.


3 tablespoons orange juice

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon of the Pepperoncini brine

2 tomatoes, cut into small pieces

¼ cup chopped fresh parsley

Taste and add small pinches of salt and pepper to taste

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