Hello, Summer! Spiced Scallops over Cilantro


With summer fast approaching, heavy dishes and heavy meats just don’t seem appropriate anymore. Craving fresh and simple dishes, like this spiced scallops over cilantro. I served it with a chicken meatball minestrone. It’s the perfect summer dinner idea for two!

Spiced Scallops over Cilantro Salad

Spiced Scallops over Cilantro Salad

Adapted from Bon Appetit


Spice Oil

  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper  flakes
  • 6 black peppercorns plus freshly ground for  seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt plus  more
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp grated lemon  zest
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon  juice


  • 1 1/2 tbsp grapeseed oil
  • 10 medium sea scallops, side muscle removed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground  black pepper
  • 2 cups cilantro
  • Olive oil (for  drizzling)
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice


  1. Wash scallops and soak them in water for 10 minutes while you prepare the spice oil.
  2. Add first 5 ingredients to a mortar and pestle and grind to fine powder. Transfer to a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add oil. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Scrape into small bowl and stir in garlic and lemon zest. Let cool for 5 minutes, then stir in 1 tbsp of lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Drain scallops and pat dry with paper towels.
  4. Heat grapeseed oil in large saucepan or skillet over high heat until oil starts to smoke. Season scallops with salt and pepper. Sear until well browned, 3 minutes on one side. Then, turn them over and cook for another 30 seconds.
  5. Toss cilantro in a medium bowl with some olive oil and lemon juice. Season salad to taste with salt and pepper. Place cilantro salad on plates and place scallops on top of them. Spoon 1 tbsp spice oil over each plate. Reserve the rest of the spice oil for another purpose (it’s great on steak or other meats).



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4 comments for “Hello, Summer! Spiced Scallops over Cilantro

  1. Junia @ Mis Pensamientos
    June 6, 2012 at 7:04 pm

    i’ve been loving scallops lately!!! i eat it at least twice a week haha. what a fabulous meal! 🙂 hope you are doing well, jessica~

  2. Magic of Spice
    June 8, 2012 at 11:41 am

    What a perfect summer meal…the scallops are gorgeous and the cilantro is so refreshing! Lovely!

  3. klein
    June 10, 2012 at 9:48 am

    Can’t wait to try this scallops recipe of yours! Looks very awesome, like my favorite scallop dish which I found at gourmetrecipe, it’s very delectable dish…looking forward to have this recipe on my plate!

  4. Chris and Amy
    June 10, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    Those scallops look perfect. Bet they are so tasty with the cilantro! Nice dish!

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