It’s been a long time, readers. I’ve missed you all! A lot has changed around here, but I’m back in blogging business.
I recently got a promotion at work, which is a wonderful thing for my career. It’s taken a terrible toll on my cooking. I spend a quarter of the amount of time in the kitchen than I used to, and my family is suffering for it. I love my husband tremendously, but we can only take so many servings of pasta and veggies…
Another thing I tried while I was on a “blogging sabbatical” was vegetarianism. I lasted for about a month, because my overly active lifestyle and my minimal cooking time led me to lose too much weight. I did, however, rediscover my love of seafood during this endeavor, and, therefore, this sea scallops recipe emerged!
Seafood is really delicious, and healthy, due to its high amounts of protein and its abundance of omega-3 fatty acids. Learn more about these wonderful fats in my Simple Summer Salmon recipe page.
The other thing I like about seafood is that it is really easy to bake, takes minimal prep time, and only needs minutes of cooking time. Seafood is the perfect option to prepare in a pinch. This entire meal and recipe took me about 35 minutes to make.
In case you didn’t know, scallops are shellfish. There are two types of shellfish. The first group is the crustacean (shrimp, lobster) and the second group is the mollusk (mussels, oysters, clams). Scallops belong to the mollusk family.
Regulatory lesson #1 about scallops- Because they’re a type of shellfish, scallops are included in the Big 8 allergen list in the United States. The Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) of 2004 requires that any use of the Big 8 foods must be clearly labeled on the packaging.
Regulatory lesson #2 about scallops- Fish must have fins and scales to be Kosher, so shellfish do not fall into that category. Therefore, any product made with shellfish cannot be labeled as Kosher.
I have the day off today, I had to throw in some type of work lingo somewhere into this post.
Anyway, back to the cooking topic. Scallops can be easily overcooked, and unevenly cooked. To me, the best way to make them… is to bake them. For a little extra pizzazz, I decided to make a balsamic vinaigrette to go on top of the dish. It didn’t let me down, and gave this meal a Mediterranean flare.
For those of you new to fish, give scallops a try. They’re definitely the reason I like seafood as much as I do.
Mediterranean Balsamic Baked Sea Scallops
- For the scallops
- 1 and 1/2 lb sea scallops
- Olive oil to coat the pan
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 red onion, finely chopped
- Thyme, pepper as you desire
- Parsley for garnish For the balsamic vinaigrette
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 Tbsp honey
- 1 tsp golden mustard
- 1 clove garlic minced For the orzo
- 1 cup raw orzo (makes 2 cups cooked)
- 1 can large black olives, low sodium
- Mozzarella cheese balls (you choose the amount)
- Preheat the oven to 425°F.
- Make the balsamic vinaigrette in a mason jar. Shake well. Set aside.
- Start making the orzo per the manufacturer’s directions (check the box). Orzo only takes about 8 – 10 minutes to cook. Drain, and set aside.
- Place the scallops in an 8 x 8 inch pan. Coat them with olive oil.
- Chop the onion, and mince the 2 cloves of garlic. Mix them with the scallops.
- Pour 1/4 of the balsamic vinegar mixture into the orzo. Pour the other 3/4 of the mixture onto the scallops. Season the scallops with thyme and pepper.
- Place the scallops in the oven for 8 minutes. Set the oven to high broil, and broil for 1 minutes. Remove the scallops from the oven and let them cool slightly.
- While the scallops are cooling, add the olives and mozzarella to the orzo.
- Plate the dish as desired, and garnish with parsley.