Why have I been craving pistachios lately? Doesn’t that seem super random to you? I’m not sure I’ve ever craved pistachios before…I’m sure someone out there would read this and tell me it’s because my body is really craving fiber or protein or something like that.
But…regardless of the reason…I was craving pistachios last week like nobody’s business and wanted to make some kind of recipe out of them! And then the beautiful idea of pistachio pesto popped into my mind. Ah, pistachio pesto. Why have I never thought of you before?? Pistachios are soooo good, so naturally they would be wonderful in pesto.
Fact: pistachio pesto is the yummiest topping ever. We should jar it. We’d make millions. Quit our jobs and move to Italy. Or Ireland. Or wherever it is they grow the most pistachios so we can live in pistachio heaven forever and eat pistachios for breakfast and feed Boone pistachio dog food.
I mean, come onnnnnnnnn how good does that look?? It tastes even better ?. As for the scallops – if you have never made pan seared scallops before, you need to get your butt to the store right now, buy a bunch of scallops, and sear those babies up. Pan seared scallops have to be one of the easiest, most simple ways to prepare meat/seafood in the world.
The title literally contains the only instruction. Sear them. In a pan. And then eat them. Preferably with a large scoop of pistachio pesto over top.
In this recipe, we take an extra step or two to make the scallops extra special:
- Infuse the cooking oil. I used coconut oil for this recipe because it can handle a higher heat in the pan than olive oil, but you can use whatever! We infuse the oil with a little bit of garlic and thyme before searing the scallops to add a little bit of extra FLAVA. How? Cook the garlic and thyme for like one or two minutes in the oil and then take them back out. I know…super complex…
- Season the scallops. Does this even count as an “extra step”? Preeetttyyy sure it doesn’t, but I need a second bullet or my first bullet would be lonely.
These little dudes take a whopping TWO minutes per side to cook through. So fast. Like lightning. Like ice cream melting on a hot day. Like Boone when I accidentally let him out of my front door and he smells freedom.
After two minutes-ish per side, the scallops are wonderfully tender and just cooked through! Good luck not stuffing all of them into your face within three seconds of removal from skillet.
If you are just feelin’ the pesto here and aren’t so much a scallop fan (whaaaaaaaaaaaaaat you be cray), there are so many other things you could do with this pesto! Throw it in some chicken salad and make pesto chicken salad, throw it into a simple cream sauce and make a pesto cream sauce (these two things just happen to be my fave pesto uses), add it on top of chicken or fish, throw a dollop in a bowl of soup, the possibilities are endless.
Alright so I have to tell you a story about the purchasing of said pistachios. I am helping with the play at the school where I teach, and we have play practice on Saturdays. So one of my students lives near me, and I picked her up for play practice because her mom was working. We arrive at school at 9 am, pull into the parking lot, and zero cars are there.
What…why. Checked our emails and saw that rehearsal had been pushed back to 10 am. We needed to kill an hour, so we went grocery shopping since I was going to have to go after practice anyway.
You know those aisles that have the self dispensers of everything? Nuts, chocolate, candy, coffee, etc…? That’s where their pistachios were. So I stuck the little baggie down there, pulled, and proceeded to dump in like three hundred pounds of pistachios into my bag.
Weeeeelllllll that happened. Oh well… So I went to weigh it and put the little sticker on, and the price was THIRTY dollars. Thiirrrtttyyyyyy dollars. No longer “Oh well…” I asked the dude next to me (he worked at the grocery store, don’t worry) to help me dump them back into the original container. I’m not about to pay thirty dollas for a lifetime supply of pistachios, thank you very much.
He helped me while saying, “If anyone asks, we are wearing gloves and hair nets right now.” ? Anyway, we got it worked out and I only payed seven dollars for my pistachios rather than thirty. Whew. Good thing I weighed it right there and not at the cash register!
Pistachio craving = satiated.
For you 21 Day Fix people, here are your container amounts:
- 2 red containers (scallops)
- 1 blue container (pesto)
- 1 teaspoon (coconut oil)
*The thyme and garlic are “free”*
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Pan Seared Scallops with Pistachio Pesto [21 Day Fix]
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Cook Time: 5 mins
- Total Time: 20 mins
- Yield: 1 serving 1x
- 8 oz scallops (the big ones – not tiny “bay” scallops)
- 1 clove garlic
- 2–3 sprigs thyme
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- For the pesto:
- 1 cup loosely packed basil leaves (if you aren’t a fan of basil flavor, you can use spinach or even 1/2 spinach 1/2 basil)
- 1/4 cup pistachos
- 1 small clove garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
- 3 tablespoons water
- Make the pesto first:
- Combine all ingredients except water (basil, pistachios, garlic, olive oil, lemon, and parmesan) in a food processor
- Pulse until everything is finely minced and combined, scraping down the sides a few times. Add the water 1 tablespoon at a time until the pesto has reached the consistency you desire (you may use a bit more or less than 3 tablespoons), again – pausing and scraping down the sides a few times
- Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pulse to combine
- For the scallops, pat both sides dry with paper towels. They need to be dry or they won’t brown as well
- Heat your coconut oil in a large skillet over medium – medium high heat
- Add your garlic and thyme in with the coconut oil, stirring around for a minute or two until the garlic has turned golden brown
- Season your scallops lightly with salt and pepper and add into the hot pan
- Cook for about 2 minutes per side, or until the scallops have a nice sear on both sides and are cooked through
- Fill 1 blue container (1/4 cup) with the pesto (the recipe with make a little bit more than 1 blue) and divide the pesto over each scallop
This recipe is gluten free
If you make this or any of my other recipes, be sure to Instagram it and hashtag #thegarlicdiaries!
In the mood for more yummy seafood recipes? Check these out: