Sautéed Scallops and Quinoa Recipe with Orange-Avocado Salsa

scallops with quinoa

Quinoa mixed with olive oil and a big handful of fresh herbs makes a refreshing bed for the scallops and zippy salsa made from oranges and avocado in this delicious recipe. It has become one of my favorite accompaniments to seafood.

Serves 2


Oranges, 2, peel and pith removed(page 127)
Large avocado, 1, peeled, pitted, and finely diced
Fresh basil, 3 tablespoons minced
Shallot, 2 tablespoons minced
Red jalapeño, 11⁄2 teaspoons seeded and minced
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Olive oil, 2 tablespoons
Sea scallops, 10–12 oz (315–375 g), patted dry
Basic Quinoa, using basil as an addition


1. Cut the oranges in half, slice them 1⁄3 inch (9 mm) thick and then cut into 1⁄3-inch (9-mm) cubes. Place in a bowl. Gently mix in the avocado, basil, shallot and jalapeño. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

2. In a large nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat, warm the oil. Sprinkle the scallops with salt and pepper, add to the pan, and sauté until almost springy to the touch, about 2 minutes on each side.

3. Spread the quinoa on 2 warmed plates. Top with the salsa and then the scallops and serve right away.

The salsa is also good with shrimp or any fish as well as chicken breasts or turkey cutlets.

This recipe makes a generous amount of both the quinoa and salsa because I like to toss them with crumbled feta cheese and pumpkin seeds for a light, but filling, lunch the next day.

To time the dish right, start the quinoa cooking just before making the salsa.

Recipe from “Weeknight Gluten Free” by Kristine Kidd (April 2013, Weldon Owen)