Oops I took the picture before drizzling with balsamic!
We've cooked scallops at home once before, searing them and serving over an Asian salad. It came out great but we both agreed that we overcooked the scallops a bit in our novice fear of undercooking the middle. That just would not do this time! We decided to try grilling them on skewers instead, mostly because it's summer and any excuse to turn on the grill is a good one. This time I marinated them in a mint pesto first, then served over a salad of quinoa, greens, and tomatoes. Extra mint pesto plus some balsamic reduction made the dressing. So fresh and summery!
Grilled Scallops over Quinoa Salad
from Serious Eats (I halved the below recipe and it was a perfect amount for 2; this serves 3-4)
3 tbsp cooked almonds
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup parsley leaves
1 cup mint leaves
zest of 1 lemon
3/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1 1/2 lbs sea scallops
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
2 cups baby greens (spinach, arugula, etc.)
3/4 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
In a small food processor, blend the almonds, garlic, parsley, mint, and lemon zest until it forms a chunky paste. Add 1/2 cup of olive oil steadily and blend until smooth, then blend in the cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer 2 tbsp of the pesto to a bowl and combine with the scallops. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, get the rest of the ingredients ready. Cook the quinoa to package directions and set aside. Soak some skewers in water for the grill. Finally, bring the balsamic to a boil and reduce until syrupy; remove from heat and set aside.
Heat the grill to high. When ready, skewer the scallops (about 3 per skewer worked for us) and cook about 3 minutes per side, until just translucent in the middle.
Combine the greens and tomatoes with enough leftover pesto to coat. Top the greens with quinoa, the scallops, and a good drizzle of balsamic reduction. Enjoy!