Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Greek Orzo with Seared Scallops

So I know everyone is getting very excited about fall and pumpkin recipes are suddenly flooding the food blogs. But let's just slow down a minute. So many of the wonderful summer fruits and veggies are just not finished yet. Like these rogue cherry tomatoes that popped up in our backyard.  

 Last week the weather was in the 80's here and we all felt like something light for dinner. I was planning on "pizza night" but heating the oven to 550 did not sound fun in the hot weather. So I pulled out some veggies from fridge, a bag of Trader Joe's jumbo scallops from the freezer, some orzo pasta, and voila! A delicious and healthy dinner quicker than going to get take-out. From start to finish, this can be done in about 15 minutes. I didn't write down amounts, so you're just going to have to wing-it like I did. It's more fun that way anyway.

Greek Orzo with Seared Scallops 
Serves 4
printer-friendly recipe 

16 oz orzo pasta, cooked in salted water (reserve 1/4 cup pasta water)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (needs to be good quality because it flavors this simple pasta)
juice from 1/2 a lemon
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved 
1 yellow or orange bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup kalamata olives
2 cups arugula leaves
16 jumbo scallops
garlic powder

In a large bowl, toss warm pasta with lemon juice, tomatoes, bell pepper, olives, and arugula. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Feel free to add any fresh herbs you have (fresh oregano would be perfect!) - I didn't have any since this was a last-minute, clean out the fridge kind of dinner. Add a little pasta water and olive oil if too dry.

Heat olive oil in nonstick saute pan over medium-high heat. Sprinkle scallops with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Cook about 3 minutes per side. You can see mine didn't get a dark sear - that's because I moved them around the pan too much. Top orzo with scallops.


  1. Sooo yummy! Scallops are one of my favorites. Fresh homegrown tomatoes are the best..ours are growing like weeds at the moment!

  2. I completely agree about slowing down, even though I just posted pumpkin bread, I am still craving summer's harvest. I'm still going picking at our local pick-your-own farm, and our farmer's markets have great tomatoes these days. Of course, we can't all live in produce heaven like you do...we'll count on you throughout the winter to bring us rays of sunshine in the form of fresh California fruits and veggies.

  3. Orzo is so under unappreciated, so great to see it in the spotlight!!!!
    And I rarely write down amounts either. All about winging it! :-)

  4. Oh!!! I LOVE scallops nut I must admit I'm a little intimidated about cooking them. Not sure why. I need to try this!!

  5. Your blog is. Visual pleasure. This recipe is my idea of the perfect dinner.

  6. Love Love scallops and this dish with the greek twist looks amazing!

  7. Living in Miami, we have an abundance of seafood to choose from. I love the flavor of scallops (but did you know some places actually fake scallops with stingray? Horrible.)
    I don't think I've ever made orzo for my family. Shame on me. This is a recipe I need to try! My husband is practically a fish (saltwater fisherman!), so we are big seafood eaters. When he catches it, it's even better. :)


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