Seared Scallops with Lemon Orzo

  • Whygal Posted: 04/11/10
    Worthy of a Special Occasion

    I was looking for a new orzo side dish to serve with Cape Cod broiled scallops when this recipe came through on the Dinner Tonight alert. The orzo is easy to prepare and delicious. I made half of the recipe as written and it was perfect for my husband and me. Will add to my side dish collection.

  • ceclark1998 Posted: 03/15/11
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    Wow - I'd give this 6 stars if I could. Incredibly easy, and the orzo tastes amazing. Served with roasted asparagus. I'm tempted to make it again tonight with shrimp!

  • ltandltaz Posted: 08/25/09
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    This was the first time I have made scallops at home. I love them in restaurants, but I may leave them to the experts in the future. I think I did a combination of things wrong that other reviewers have touched upon. My main advice to people trying this is definitely use the largest scallops available, and pass on the cast iron skillet and use a regular one instead. (Mine took on a very seasoned taste which I think overpowered the scallops.)

  • LindaThiel Posted: 09/25/09
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    Five stars maybe even six. I was making salmon and wanted a side dish. I just made the pasta. Wow what a winner. For sure a company dish!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • abbygirl Posted: 03/14/11
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    This recipe would have got 5 stars as the scallops and lemon orzo were very flavourful...but... after making the orzo, I was short by 3/4 cup on the 4th serving. Next time, I will increase the orzo to 1-1/2 cups and the broth to 1-1/2 cups. Also, I would use lemon pepper instead of regular to give the scallops a little more zip..and cook the scallops 2 minutes on each side rather than 3. Once the scallops were cooked, I added some of the juices back into the orzo. I would do this recipe again...but with my changes

  • vbkimber07 Posted: 12/07/08
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    Great recipe for a scallop first-timer. The first time we tried the orzo, we ended up with a blackened mass at the bottom of the pan halfway through cooking time. I tried again (luckily hadn't seared the scallops yet), this time adding extra broth and wine and cooking in a smaller pan. Make sure to turn the heat down *really* low. We left uncovered during simmering and used freeze dried chives and still had an excellent dish. At the end of the orzo cooking time I added some fresh cilantro. Yum! Scallops came out just a teensy bit overdone. Make sure the skillet is really hot and you don't use much olive oil to get browning in a reasonable amount of time. Other recipes suggest a

  • tejaksw Posted: 03/31/09
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    The Lemon orzo by itself is a keeper...but the scallops were totally flavorless with just salt and pepper. The scallops need a bit of lemon zest or juice or both to turn this into a dish I'd make again or for that matter enjoy eating....

  • ChristineDC Posted: 02/07/10
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    Didn't make the seafood; I needed a recipe for orzo and this one is it. Excellent and easy--puts orzo on the regular rotation with rice, couscous, and bulgur.

  • MHnNJ1 Posted: 08/17/09
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    Like the reviewer mentioned earlier, the orzo was great, but following the recipe left the scallops more bland than I would like...it needed something else. I will make this recipe again, but will add an herb to the scallops -- something light, along the lines of chives.

  • Christopher51 Posted: 09/16/10
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    I prepared the Orzo exactly as directed and wound up with gloppy mess. Normally, I toast the Orzo first, then prepare it according to the package directions. I then prepare any type of flavoring separately, then add it to the pasta afterwards. Thyme is way overpowering for this dish. Season the scallops with Kosher salt. Table salt imparts an entirely different taste. In a high heat searing process, it can sometimes get downright nasty. Try adding just a little clarified butter to the olive oil, then a splash of fresh squeezed lemon juice at the end. It’s great.

  • cheriew Posted: 03/03/11
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    Third time I've made and always a winner! Be sure to thoroughly dry the scallops w/paper towel before cooking and they will sear beautifully.

  • EatRunYoga Posted: 07/20/10
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    Really tasty. Scallops must be well seasoned and seared in a very hot pan to be flavorful. I did these things and it came out great! The orzo was full of flavor. I served with an arugula and tomato salad with lemon vinaigrette, but next time will serve with grilled or roasted asparagus with lemon, olive oil and garlic.

  • kiddeys1 Posted: 07/07/10
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    Followed recipe to a T. This was gross. Lacked any kind of flavor, and really should have had a veggie in it or something for more color. Will not make again.

  • SpinGal Posted: 07/12/10
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    My husband and I loved this dinner. My scallops, which were previously frozen, did not get a good sear on them, as they expressed a lot of liquid while cooking (even though I dried well on paper towels first). They were still delicious. After they were cooked, I put them on a plate and deglazed the pan with a bit of lemon juice, threw in a bit of leftover chopped chives, then drizzled this over the scallops. The orzo was delish just following the easy recipe and adding a bit of extra chicken stock about half-way through the simmer. As a sidedish, I broiled some asparagus about 4 minutes with a bit of olive oil, then drizzled with just a touch of lemon juice. Wonderful, easy summer dinner that is just as nice for a home meal or a dinner party.

  • maggieml Posted: 08/04/10
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    I followed the recipe exactly for the lemon orzo except for I used parsley instead of thyme (did not have any on hand). It was great!!! I used Barefoot Chardonnay. For the scallops, I cooked them in 1 tbs butter and 1 tbs olive oil. Also, I added a little bit of lemon pepper seasoning in addition to the kosher salt and black pepper. Was able to prepare this meal quickly too. I served it with the suggested garlic bread and a spinach leaf salad with strawberries and feta. Will make again.

  • JodiCA Posted: 01/27/11
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    This was really very good. I rarely make scallops so it was a nice change for us. I made it with the orzo as directed but must have had my saucepan too hot becuase I needed to add more liquid for the orzo to finish about 10 minutes in. Served it with a green salad and garlic bread. Yum!

  • crobb6454 Posted: 05/09/11
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    This is one of my all time favorite recipes! Make sure your scallops are really fresh, however, because they are presented very simply.

  • Belladonna714 Posted: 05/09/11
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    Delicious!! I used whole wheat orzo and dusted the scallops with Wegmans pan searing flour instead of salt and pepper. The only problem I had was with the orzo, b/c of other reviews, I turned the heat down to very low but it still ran out of liquid with about 3 minutes left. Will definitely make this again but next time will add more liquid. I used a sweet onion but this would be good with what ever you have on hand, next time I'm thinking of using a leek.

  • MeeshMech79 Posted: 06/14/11
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    This was good and a nice change from our usual dinners. It was very easy to prepare. I especially liked the orzo which had a nice, light flavor. I didn't have any problem with running out of liquid when making it. I used frozen scallops as well that I simply thawed ahead of time. I think I will substitute shrimp next time as I prefer the taste of shrimp more and it is quite a bit cheaper than scallops.

  • topchefddb Posted: 06/13/11
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    You must use dry scallops (they are frozen) but with out the preservatives that cause the scallops to swell and absorb and then release water while cooking. Wet scallops are commonly treated with Phosphates which is a preservative. When scallops are soaked in phosphates, they absorb water making them weigh more and thereby costing you more. (Take in mind, that you are paying for added water.) The absorbed water evaporates during cooking and, in turn, shrinks your scallops leaving them smaller, dry and somewhat tasteless. Furthermore, the added water does not let scallops brown properly during cooking. It is generally easy to discern treated scallops as they will usually appear snow-white in color. if your recipe disappointed you, re-try with "dry scallops" I was amazed that I could finally after many years get a good sear and flavor from scallops just like the pro's!

  • JessicaRindy Posted: 05/13/11
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    Great recipe, this was my first time making scallops at home and they tasted great! My only complaint was the orzo did need more liquid.

  • jillheitmann Posted: 08/02/11
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    This was a very easy, but elegant dish. I've tried to sear scallops before and learned my lesson. So this time, I placed the scallops between sheets of paper towels and stacked another plate on top (weight) to squeeze all the water out. They seared up very nicely. I didnot have any problems with the orzo--it wasn't overly dry at all. This is definitely something I'd make for company.

  • Sibley Posted: 07/15/12
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    I was very disappointed. The scallops were great (seared scallops always are), but the orzo was inedible.

  • jennie51 Posted: 07/23/12
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    This was outstanding orzo and was delicous .The scallops which had been frozen and thawed - I dried them well and then they were seared perfectly in a iron skillet. Next time i would add toasted pinenuts to top of orzo and i did add lemon pepper ot scallops -we loved it!

  • DebraDimico Posted: 07/15/12
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    I was looking for something quick and delicious. Made the orzoas directed except for the chives which I didn't have on hand. Had to defrost the scallops,fresh would have seared up better. Read reviews where salt and pepper didn't cut it I sprinkled a little of Old Bay Seafood Seasoning. Everything came out great. Served frozen broccoli.My hubby thought it was very good suggested maybe pine nuts in the orzo. Definitely a keeper.

  • ceecee76 Posted: 08/16/12
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    The orzo was really good! I may take the advice of MeeshMech79 and substitute shrimp next time. We used bay scallops because they were on sale, but what a waste of money! Of the original 1 1/2 pounds, they cooked down to a measley 1/2 pound after all of the liquid was drained off. but that is my fault, not the recipe's fault

  • KonzaGirl Posted: 09/08/12
    Worthy of a Special Occasion

    I adore this orzo recipe. It's my go-to when company is coming over and I need something fairly simple. Not sure what problems the negative reviewer had with it, it's come out perfectly for me every time and I make it a lot. I don't normally prepare scallops so they didn't turn out that well the first time I tried but I think I just need more practice with scallops, not the recipes fault.

  • 4theluvOcheese Posted: 06/07/13
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    This was really light for summer and refreshing. Could have used a little more flavor and think I'll use shrimp next time.

  • MariannePeck Posted: 06/18/13
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    This is simply delicious. I sprinkled a little garlic powder on the scallops and they were wonderful. I didn't have any chives but the orzo was still great. Will make again and again.

  • DocHill3 Posted: 06/16/13
    Worthy of a Special Occasion

    Excellent! I made this for Father's Day after a long day of activities. It was done in less than 20 mins and was a special dinner which topped off a great day! I added chopped asparagus to the last 5 mins of cooking orzo and topped it with Parmesan cheese. Fabulous! I will definitely make this again.

  • Shabizzlebear Posted: 06/10/13
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    The last time I had scallops, they tasted rubbery and fishy. This recipe really taught me that if you are going to eat scallops, you should cook them yourself! Even with how simple the ingredients are (simple salt and pepper), the scallops came out marvelous. The only thing I did differently was add a bit of butter to the evoo and a splash of fresh lemon juice afterward. Make sure that you dry the scallops thoroughly or else they won't sear properly! I really enjoyed eating Orzo for the first time. I may add more liquid or lower the heat to low next time since the rice ran out before it was done. The lemon in this recipe complimented not only the pasta, but the scallops as well! Great recipe otherwise. Definitely one to show off to your friends.

  • cdanjou282 Posted: 01/28/13
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    Just made it. Really really really good. Would serve it to company anytime.

  • glowalk Posted: 06/09/13
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    Very Good! Something I would expect at a restaurant. The only thing I did was add more thyme - 3X more. Loved it!

  • seamus12 Posted: 01/26/14
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    Great with modification. Don't be afraid to really jazz up the scallops. I added cajun spices, chopped garlic, a little seasoned salt and lemon pepper. The orzo was perfect and I used dried chives, Italian seasoning, and a little bit more lemon juice. The other reviewers tip about drying the scallops on paper towel was a very good idea!

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