Pan Seared Sea Scallops with Cilantro-Cumin Pesto



It’s been awhile since I last posted a recipe, a month to be exact.  I have been so busy enjoying the summer that I haven’t had the time to update the blog.  I have made two new meals to post on here in this month I just haven’t had the time to sit down and add them. 

I am an avid watcher of Top Chef and Top Chef Masters.  I have been noticing the cheftestants will make scallops as their quick fire challenge.  I love scallops but I have never made them before.  After doing a little internet research I figured out that cooking scallops isn’t hard; you just have to make sure they are as dry as possible before you put them in the pan. 

Although I made up the recipe for the cilantrocumin pesto, I can’t take credit for the idea.  I noticed at least 10 different recipes came up when I did a search on Google.  I just thought of the basic basil pesto recipe and substituted cilantro for the basil.  The yield of the pesto was a lot more than I needed for the scallops, so put the rest in a jar and saved it in the fridge to add to pasta or chicken at another time. 


Cilantro-Cumin Pesto Ingredients 

  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, throughly washed
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2-3 tbs cumin
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, optional
  • salt and pepper to taste

Combine the basil with the pine nuts in a food processor (if you don’t have a food processor a regular blender will work).  Pulse until roughly chopped.  Add the garlic and pulse a few times more.  Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on. Stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula. Add the grated cheese (optional) and cumin and pulse again until blended. Add salt and pepper to taste. 

On medium heat, melt four tablespoons of butter.


Add scallops to the pan.


Cook each side of scallop until golden brown on each side; about 5 minutes.


Plate the scallops and liberally spread the cilantro pesto over them.


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