Yum! I love scallops. Unfortunately, I live in the Midwest, nowhere near an ocean which would produce them. Plus I’m trying to drastically limit my seafood consumption (not that I ever ate much of it to begin with) in order to limit the guilt I feel when I eat seafood.
Anyway, the point is that I bought frozen baby scallops yesterday. I’m sure they are in no way environmentally friendly, but I opt for frozen over fresh in many situations since once something’s frozen its nutrients are locked in (important for vegetables, which lose nutrients extremely quickly) and it can’t be bruised, bumped, or spoil.
Baby scallops are so tiny they can’t really be considered a meal on their own, but they do pair nicely with basil orzo and the leftover asparagus in the fridge. Grill your asparagus if you can–makes it suuuper good instead of just regular good.
- 1 cup baby scallops, defrosted
- 6 spears of asparagus, tough bottoms discarded
- 1/2 package of basil
- Small handful of spinach
- Romano cheese
- 1/2 cup orzo (pre-cooking amount)
Start by boiling water/chicken stock for your orzo. Use less liquid than it will take to cook the orzo. In the meantime, heat a cast iron skillet to medium high with olive oil. Cut the asparagus into bite-size pieces (or leave whole if you like that too) and sautee until slightly charred on one side–about five minutes. Remove from the pan and turn the heat up to high. It’s okay if the asparagus gets cold for now.
When the water has boiled, add a tablespoon of olive oil and the orzo and stir continuously to prevent sticking, adding more liquid to the pan as it gets absorbed. Altogether this takes about 7 minutes to cook through. Shred the romano cheese, slice spinach and basil into thin strips, and stir it all into the orzo.
Add the scallops to the very hot pan, being careful not to crowd the pan to ensure they all get a good sear. When they’re all cooked, you can either add them and the asparagus back to the orzo or serve each thing separately on your plate. If you want to look fancy, leaving the asparagus whole and serving it as a side dish will look better than combining everything together. Add plenty of salt, pepper and lemon juice (optional). Enjoy!