Scallops with Quinoa in Garlic, Lemon, and Butter Sauce

Peter Wallace

Òran Mór, Nantucket, MA

From an ancient Aztec grain comes this very contemporary entrée.


  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
  • 2 tablespoons white wine
  • 1/2 cup (1/4 pound) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 pound edamame, blanched and removed from pods (about 3/4 cup beans)
  • 1 medium red pepper, cut into 1/4-inch dice (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1 1/2 pounds scallops
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary or chives, to garnish


Cook the quinoa in boiling salted water until just tender, about 10 minutes. While the quinoa is cooking, heat one tablespoon of the oil in a sauté pan. Add the garlic and sauté until lightly browned. Add the lemon juice and wine and allow the mixture to reduce until it is syrup-like. Reduce heat to low and whisk in the cold butter, a few pieces at a time, until the sauce is smooth. Season with salt and pepper and keep warm.

Drain the quinoa and stir into the sauce. Add the edamame and red pepper. Allow mixture to barely simmer on low while sautéing the scallops. Do not allow to boil, or the sauce will break.

Season the scallops with salt and pepper. Heat one tablespoon of oil in a hot sauté pan. Quickly sauté about half of the scallops until caramelized on both sides. Remove from the pan and drain on paper towels. Repeat the process with the remaining scallops and oil.

To serve, divide quinoa mixture among four plates. Arrange the scallops on top of the quinoa. Garnish with chopped herbs.


4 servings