Quinoa is such an awesome ingredient to cook with. It cooks fast, cools fast and gets eaten fast. You can add all sorts of awesome things to it. Even pan seared scallops.
Yup, for reals!
This is sort of a salad but with no salad dressing, just the juice from the orange and some extra virgin olive oil. The flavor comes from all of the other ingredients, so that’s why I called it a salsa. I’m not looking for any internet squabbles over salsa and salads.
Whatever you want to call it, add the word healthy in there somewhere, because it definitely is.
I buy my quinoa from Trader Joe’s, all you need to do is add some water to it and watch it get bubbly for 15 minutes or so. The quinoa needs to be cold when you add the rest of the ingredients. So If you forget to make it the night before like I did, just spread it out on a cookie tray and lay it in the fridge for 10 minutes and you’ll be set.
Segmented oranges are so fancy but take a little more time to complete. Seriously, you can’t just peel an orange and add it to salads. No and no again, don’t even think about it.
Slice of the top and bottom of the orange and then slice down the sides, like in the picture with my claw-like fingers. Once all that’s remaining is the orange, just slice each segment and out they’ll pop.
Add everything to a bowl and gasp at the colors.
Extra virgin olive oil and your hands are all you need to mix it up. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Splash the scallops with some olive oil and then season them with whatever you have handy. I used Spice Cave’s Citrus Sea Seasoning and then set them on a really hot cast-iron pan.
You can check out my post on How to Sear Scallops for the skinny on getting that perfect crusty golden color. Read it and learn all about searing.
I swear it’s a thing.
Pan Seared Scallops with an Orange Mango Quinoa Salsa
- 1 1/2 cups uncooked quinoa
- 2 navel oranges
- 1 small mango peeled and chopped into dice
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1/2 cup fresh chopped cilantro plus extra for garnish
- 1 large tomato diced and seeded
- Sea salt and black pepper
- 1 small red chili sliced into small rings optional
- tablespoons Extra virgin olive oil about 3-4
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- Seasoning of your choice
- 4-5 large fresh scallops
- Cook the quinoa following the directions on the pack and let cool.
- Zest 1 orange and transfer the zest to a large bowl.
- Slice the outside of the oranges and cut out the segments adding them to the bowl.
- Squeeze the juice from 1 orange and add it to the zest and orange segments.
- When the quinoa is cool transfer it to the bowl with the mango, garlic, cilantro and tomato.
- Add the chili if desired and mix all of the ingredients together.
- Taste and season with salt and black pepper
- Add the extra virgin olive oil and mix once again.
- Transfer to the fridge.
- In a cast-iron skillet heat the canola oil until very hot.
- Season the scallops with your chosen seasoning and place them into the hot pan.
- Sear the scallops for about 4 minutes on each side until they have a golden crust.
- Transfer the quinoa mixture to a large serving platter.
- Place the scallops on top of the quinoa and garnish with extra chopped cilantro.