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Scallops with Spice Oil

Prep Time

        Prep and cook time: 20 minutes
        Yield: Serves 2


For spice oil:

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

For scallops:

     •    olive oil for drizzling
    •    1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
    •    1 1/2 tables grapeseed or vegetable oil
    •    kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    •    8 large or 12 medium sea scallops, side muscle removed
    •    2 cups mixed cilantro and flat-leaf parsley with tender stems


  1. For spice oil: Grind first 4 ingredients and 1/2 tsp. salt to a fine powder in spice mill. Transfer to a small saucepan over medium-low heat; add oil. Cook until oil begins to simmer, 2–3 minutes. Scrape into a small bowl; stir in garlic and lemon zest. Let cool for 5 minutes, then stir in 1 Tbsp. lemon juice. Season with salt, pepper, and more juice, if desired. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 week ahead. Cover; chill. Rewarm before using.
  2. For scallops: Heat grapeseed oil in a large heavy skillet over high heat until oil begins to smoke. Season scallops with salt and pepper. Sear until well browned, about 3 minutes. Turn; cook until just barely opaque in center, about 30 seconds longer.
  3. Meanwhile, place herbs in a medium bowl and drizzle olive oil and lemon juice over; season salad to taste with salt and pepper. Divide scallops between 2 plates; spoon 1 Tbsp. spice oil over each plate (reserve remaining oil for another use). Garnish with salad.

This great family recipe is thanks to bon appetit at


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