Recipe By Lynfred Brand Ambassador Laura Lorenz
8 sea scallops
1-2 Tbsp neutral cooking oil with a high smoke point*
1 Tbsp butter
2 cups fresh basil (blend of Italian and Thai) *
1 cup fresh Italian parsley
½ cup toasted macadamia nuts*
¼ -½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 medium clove of garlic, grated or minced
1 large lemon, zested
Salt to taste
1 cup heavy cream
Garnish- microgreens (optional)
To prepare the pesto, add the basil, parsley, garlic, nuts, and lemon zest to a food processor. Pulse a few times and then turn on low-medium speed; slowly drizzle in the olive oil until the mixture turns into pesto (scraping down the sides as needed). Salt to taste and set aside. * Next take a medium-size pot and add the cream, place over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a boil and reduce to a strong simmer. Watch the pan closely, frequently stirring (you do not want the cream to burn to the bottom. Simmer for roughly 10 minutes (the cream will have slightly reduced and thickened). After 10 minutes, turn off the heat and stir in 3 tablespoons of the pesto; salt sauce to taste.
To prepare the scallops make sure they are at room temperature and completely dry before cooking. Lightly salt and pepper on each side (I like kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper for this). Place a medium-size cast-iron pan over medium-high heat (an enamel-coated Dutch oven will work great as a replacement; a non-stick pan may also work; adjust heat accordingly). Melt 1 Tbsp of oil and 1 Tbsp of butter in the pan*. Once the pan is plenty hot, add the scallops, making sure not to crowd the pan (you should hear a nice sizzle sound); do not move the scallops for 2 minutes (this helps ensure an even crust). After 2 minutes, flip and cook for an additional 1 minute. Remove from the pan and let sit on a paper towel.
To serve, place scallops on the desired serving plate and spoon cream sauce on top. Microgreens or additional herbs may be used for garnish.
*Serving Sizes-Typically 4 large scallops per person. The butter and oil amount for searing will make up to 8 scallops. The pesto recipe makes 1 cup. The cream sauce makes about ¾ cup.
*Avocado oil, grapeseed oil, or light olive oil (not in calories but color), will all work perfectly in this
*Basil-I used a blend of Italian and Thai basil. You can use all Italian or a mix of Italian with a few sprigs of tarragon to achieve the same flavor. Thai basil has an ever-so-slight licorice and pepper note to it.
*You can buy pre-toasted macadamia nuts or toast your own in a 325-degree oven for about 15 minutes, flipping every so often so they do not burn. If your macadamia nuts are salted, adjust the salt in the pesto
*Store your leftover pesto in the fridge with a little oil on top to prevent browning. This pesto is great when mixed into pasta with parmesan on top, or even on top of grilled chicken.
*If you are afraid of the butter burning there is an alternate way of cooking the scallops-
~Add 2 Tbsp oil to a hot pan, cook scallops on the first side for 2 minutes, flip and add 1 Tbsp of butter.
Baste the scallops with the butter while they cook for 1 minute, remove them from the pan, and set them on a paper
*The reason why you use a mixture of oil and butter is that the oil has a higher smoke point than butter, this will help the butter not to burn and become bitter. The butter will brown, but brown butter
*This dish is also delicious served over pasta…toss the cream sauce with cooked noodles and serve scallops on top.