Succulent Pan Seared Scallops with Orzo Piccata is an easy weeknight dinner that’s fancy enough for weekend company!
If you’re a parent, you know that sometimes your menu is planned around your children’s likes and dislikes. Well, Tom is my third child.
If you’re a regular follower of the blog, you know my husband Tom is a picky eater. Has been for most of his life, and I’ve resigned myself to the fact that after almost 28 years of marriage, he always will be.
So even though our son Sean no longer lives at home, and our son Casey is away at college, I still find myself planning meals around what Mr. Picky likes.
For the record, he would eat these Pan Seared Scallops with Orzo Piccata for dinner almost every night of the week! It’s perfect served with a side salad (which of course, Mr. Picky won’t eat, but I will) and a glass of Sauvignon Blanc.
This is one of those dinners I totally enjoy too, so it’s a win-win! AND it’s one of the easiest dinners ever to prepare. Not a fan of scallops? No worries. Sub them with some shrimp. Just as delicious! I’m pretty sure Tom could even manage getting this one to the table on his own if he tried. (And that’s a BIG if.)
You’ll sear your scallops first which takes less than 5 minutes. Then whip up the orzo that’s finished off with some fresh squeezed lemon juice and zest, and a generous portion of capers, Tom’s favorite. From start to finish you’re looking at just about 30 minutes. It’s perfect for those busy weeknights, but fancy enough for weekend company!
Hope y’all enjoy this one as much as Tom does!
- 1 1/4 lb. (about 16) sea scallops
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 Tbsp. butter
- 1 1/2 cups onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup orzo pasta
- 1/3 cup dry white wine
- 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tsp. lemon zest
- 1/4 cup capers
- fresh chopped parsley for garnish, if desired
Scallops: Blot scallops with a paper towel to remove any excess moisture. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large nonstick frying pan over high heat. Carefully add scallops when oil is hot, making sure scallops are not touching each other. Sear scallops for 1 1/2-2 minutes on each side. Do not move or flip until bottom is golden brown. Transfer to paper towel-lined plate.
In a large Dutch oven, heat butter over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook 5 minutes until softened and translucent, stirring often. Add garlic and continue to cook for 1 minute. Add orzo and cook for 2-3 minutes until lightly toasted, stirring until well combined.
Add wine and bring to a boil. Cook until almost all wine is evaporated, about 2 minutes.
Add 2 1/2 cups stock, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until pasta is tender and broth is mostly absorbed, about 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice, lemon zest and capers. Divide orzo among 4 dishes and top with about 4 scallops per plate. Sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley.