Seared Sea Scallops with Pineapple Puree — 5 stars

I’ve finally started cooking a couple times a week again, so I’m a bit more inspired to write these entries. I think. We’ll see.

For Easter Sunday dinner, I wanted something a bit nontraditional, and I picked a Paula Deen recipe for the entree.  I know what you’re thinking: a dish saturated with butter and sitting in a bowl of cream.  But this recipe wasn’t like that at all!  Not only is there no butter or cream in the recipe, but the recipe also has fruit!  Real, fresh fruit!  I know.  I, too, was disappointed and felt a little cheated by Paula…

Anyway, scallops had scared me in the past — they are difficult to overcook and easy to undercook.  And they are expensive.  Three strikes, but for a fancy Easter meal with my sister, I took on the challenge.  Turns out, as long as you pay attention while you’re cooking them, scallops are easy to make.  Paula Deen suggests 1/2 lb of scallops per person, but my sister and I were fine with about 1/3 lb, or five large scallops, each.  If you find scallops on sale, I definitely recommend this recipe.

This recipe serves 4-5 people, and takes about 30 minutes including prep time.


1 1/2 cup diced pineapple
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon chopped red onion
1 large lime, juiced
2 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lime zest (the grated rind of one lime)
1 teaspoon finely chopped jalapeno pepper (about 1/2 a jalapeno)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon hot sauce (or 1/4 tsp ground red pepper)
2 pounds sea scallops
1/2 tsp ground black pepper + 1 tsp salt
2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil


  1. In a blender, combine the pineapple, cilantro, red onion, lime juice, lime zest, jalapeno, salt, and hot sauce. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary. Puree until just barely smooth.
  2. Rinse the scallops and pat them dry. Combine the 1/2 tsp ground black pepper with the 1 tsp salt, and season both sides of the scallops with the salt and pepper.
  3. Warm the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sear the scallops, without moving them in the pan until golden (the bottom 2/3 of the scallops should be an opaque white before you flip them over), about 2 to 4 minutes per side.
  4. Plate the dish by spooning a generous amount of puree on the serving plates, placing the scallops on top of the puree, spooning a little more puree on top of the scallops, and garnishing with chopped cilantro.
My Easter dinner: seared scallops with pineapple cilantro puree; argula, fennel, parmigiano cheese salad; chai creme brulee.  Not pictured: homemade bread.  Yummy!

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