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Seared Scallops with Meyer Lemon Pesto

The largest scallops (about 8 to a pound) are the best for this dish.


1 Meyer lemon, seeded and cut into pieces
¼ cup (60 mL) chopped fresh basil
¼ cup (60 mL) chopped fresh mint
1 tsp (5 mL) chopped garlic
¼ cup (60 mL) olive oil
¼ cup (60 mL) grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground pepper

2 tbsp (30 mL) olive oil
8 large scallops


  1. Place Meyer lemon in a food processor or mini-chop. Add basil, mint and garlic and process until coarsely chopped. Add olive oil and cheese and process until a little chunky. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Heat olive oil in a nonstick skillet over high heat. Season scallops with salt and pepper. Sear about 2 minutes a side or until nicely glazed on outside and opaque within. Remove to plate.
  3. Spoon Quinoa Risotto with Artichokes (recipe follows) into serving bowls and top with 2 scallops each. Dab scallops with pesto. Sprinkle more pesto around the plate (or bowl).
Serves 4

Quinoa Risotto with Artichokes


8 baby artichokes
1 lemon, cut in half
2 tbsp (25 mL) olive oil
1 tbsp (15 mL) butter
1 cup (250 mL) chopped onion
2 tsp (10 mL) chopped garlic
1 cup (250 mL) washed quinoa
½ cup (125 mL) white wine
3 cups (750 mL) hot vegetable stock,
Chicken stock or water
¼ cup (50 mL) whipping cream
¼ cup (50 mL) grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tsp (5 mL) white truffle oil, optional


  1. Remove leaves of artichokes until you get to the softer, greeny-yellow leaves. Cut top third off artichoke. Cut artichoke in half and remove any fuzz. Rub with lemon juice to prevent discolouration.
  2. Heat olive oil and butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add artichokes and sauté until browned and slightly softened, about 8 minutes. Add onions and garlic and sauté for 2 minutes or until softened. Add quinoa and continue to sauté for 3 minutes, or until toasty.
  3. Deglaze pan with wine and cook until the liquid is evaporated. Add stock, 1 cup (250 mL) at a time, stirring often, until quinoa is still a bit firm, about 12 to 15 minutes. Stir in cream and Parmesan cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Serve hot with a small drizzle of white truffle oil.
Serves 4


Vintages VQA Superstars
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