Scallops with Jalapeno-Herb Pesto

May 4, 2010

I don’t have a crush on Bobby Flay* (he looks a little too much like Howdy Doody for my taste), but I do have a serious crush on his food. Spicy? Check. Fresh? Check. Inventive? Check.

And, if I’m making a recipe out of his cookbook Grilling for Life, I can add Healthy to the laundry list of things I love.

The original recipe called for an avocado vinaigrette to accompany the scallops, and I did go ahead and make it (it’s the pale green pool that’s the bed for the scallops), and the dish was wonderful. Still, I don’t really think you need the avocado vinaigrette. What knocked me out were the tender scallops and the flavorful pesto. What an explosion of texture and flavor!

Spice Fearers: feel free to tinker with the ratio of jalapenos in the pesto. We used the recommended amount and enjoyed the kick, but you’ll still get plenty of flavor out of this if you use, say, two chiles. Grilling them mellows their heat, so don’t be scared!

Grilled Sea Scallops with Avocado Vinaigrette and Jalapeno Pesto
serves 6
from Bobby Flay’s Grilling for Life

For Jalapeno Pesto:

1 1/2 cups fresh cilantro leaves
6 jalapeno chiles, grilled, peeled and chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon pine nuts
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup olive oil

Combine the cilantro, jalapenos, garlic, pine nuts, salt and pepper in a food processor or blender and process until smooth. With the motor running, drizzle in the oil and process until emulsified. Scrape the mixture into a bowl and set aside. The pesto can be made up to 2 days in advance, covered, and kept refrigerated.

For Avocado Vinaigrette:

1 ripe avocado, halved, pitted, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons chopped red onion
2 teaspoons honey
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup canola oil

Combine the avocado, lime juice, water, onion, honey, cumin, salt and pepper in a blender and blend until smooth. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in the oil and blend until emulsified. If the mixture is too thick and does not pour easily, add additional water to thin it to a pourable consistency.

For Sea Scallops:

24 large sea scallops
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Heat your grill to high. Brush the scallops on both sides with the oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the scallops until crusty, golden brown, and just cooked through, about 2-3 minutes per side.

Serve 4 scallops per person on each plate. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of the avocado vinaigrette over the scallops and top each scallop with a teaspoon of jalapeno pesto.

*Feel free to confess your love for the Flay–or any Food Network crush–in the comments section! I always find it fascinating which star floats the most boats!

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

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Zebra Zoologist July 16, 2012 at 5:43 pm

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