Seared Scallops

Seared Scallops with Garlic Red-Quinoa

Melt-in-your-mouth scallops on a bed of red quinoa filled with root vegetables and garlic, topped with zereshk! Having a wide variety of inspirational items in your pantry really helps to create interesting dishes on the fly.

Not gonna lie, this was my first time cooking scallops. It was much easier than I expected it to be! No idea what all those Hell’s Kitchen contestants are whining about! Just kidding 😀 While it was relatively easy to keep them medium rare, I let 2 scallops sit on the pan for 30 seconds longer than the others (which were on the pan for maybe 2 – 2.5 minutes). The 2 that sat for longer in the pan became SO rubbery and chewy and were really not pleasant to eat at all! So keep an extremely close eye on them and keep touching them to make sure they are still soft! It’s no wonder that when the Hell’s Kitchen contestants are cooking a million things at once, they let a few scallops go super rubbery because all it takes is a few seconds!

I thoroughly enjoyed creating this dish! I’ve been having a recent craze of topping everything I make with zereshk whether or not it goes with it. I think this was a definite success!

Seared Scallops with Garlic Red-Quinoa

Seared Scallops with Garlic Red-Quinoa

Course: Lunch, DinnerCuisine: Italian, MediterraneanDifficulty: Patience Required, Watchful Eye


Prep time


Cooking time





The scallops simply melt away in your mouth…


  • Quinoa
  • 2 carrot

  • 4 small potatoes

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • 1/2 white onion

  • 3/4 cup Red Quinoa

  • 1.5 cups water

  • Salt

  • Oil

  • Zereshk
  • Dried barberries

  • 2 strands saffron

  • 1 tbsp rose water

  • 15 cashew nuts

  • 1 tbsp Butter

  • 1 cup boiling water

  • Scallops
  • 15 scallops

  • 1 tbsp paprika

  • Salt

  • Oil

  • Parsley for garnish


  • Quinoa
  • Cook quinoa as per instructions on the packet. Usually 1:2 quinoa to water and let it cook covered on a simmer for about 15-20 minutes. I like to keep mine a bit on the chewier side. Season the water for the quinoa.
  • Cube potatoes and carrots into bite size pieces. Sauté on high heat with a couple tablespoons of oil.
  • Thinly slice garlic and onion. Add to the pan when potatoes and carrots have started to get some color.
  • Season the vegetables. It should take around 15 minutes on a high heat for the vegetables to brown nicely.
  • When the quinoa is cooked, let it rest and fluff it up.
  • Mix the vegetables with the quinoa
  • Zereshk
  • Soak barberries in boiling water for 3-4 minutes.
  • Melt butter on high heat in a small pan.
  • Roast cashew nuts in the butter.
  • Add barberries, saffron, and rose water to the butter and mix for a couple minutes.
  • Set aside.
  • Scallops
  • Season well with salt and paprika.
  • Heat up oil in a pan on very high heat.
  • When the oil is extremely hot, gently place all scallops one by one along the edge of the round pan so they cook at the same rate.
  • Gently press down on all scallops with your fingers so the entire surface touches the pan.
  • Cook on one side for about 2 minutes and then flip in the same order that you placed them.
  • Cook for another 20-30 seconds and remove from heat onto a paper towel to drain excess oil.
  • Plating
  • Mix together the quinoa and vegetables and serve in an individual bowl.
  • Place scallops over the quinoa. Top with zereshk and parsley!
  • Serve!

Recipe Video