Seared Scallops with Salsa Verde and Asparagus

Kitchen Tested
  • Yield 4 servings
  • Prep 10 minutes
  • Cook 5 minutes

Bright salsa verde tames rich, buttery scallops.

Seared Scallops with Salsa Verde and Asparagus
Mark Boughton Photography / styling: Teresa Blackburn

This robust salsa verde is the Italian kind, made with fresh herbs and capers. A nip of sugar helps the scallops caramelize.


1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon capers, drained and minced
1 tablespoon finely chopped shallots
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon anchovy paste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon sugar
1 1/4 pounds large sea scallops
4 teaspoons vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 pound asparagus, trimmed and cooked


  1. Combine basil and next 9 ingredients (basil through sugar) in a small bowl; set aside.
  2.  Pat scallops very dry. Heat 2 teaspoons vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Season scallops lightly with salt and a pinch of sugar. When pan is very hot, add half the scallops and cook, undisturbed, 2 minutes. Turn and cook 1 to 2 minutes more, until just opaque in the center. Transfer to a plate, and tent with foil. Repeat with remaining oil and scallops. Transfer to plates and serve with salsa verde and asparagus spears.