Lemon Thyme Scallops with Summer Orzo Salad

August 27, 2012 by Kari Karch

This weekend I decided to walk on over to the Green City Market and check out the selection of tomatoes in season. Heirlooms, beefsteak, cherry, roma, vine-ripened, grape, slicer, the list goes on and on, but now is the time to run to your local market and snatch some up. This years tomatoes boast so much flavor but other years have lacked and it’s all because of mother nature.

The simplicity of tomatoes should be given the utmost tender love and care. Salt. That’s all that is required to have a symphony of flavors burst in your mouth when you bite into a tomato. Growing up in Texas, salt went on everything from watermelon, to avocados, to tomatoes. Just a sprinkle of flaked sea salt on a ripe tomato will change your life. Trust me.

Today I needed to use up some scallops that were from a cooking shoot a couple days ago and what did I have at the studio? Tomatoes. Game on.

Below is a recipe I just created and it’s honestly going to be a staple summer dish in my kitchen from this moment on. That to me is the best part of cooking, is being creative and having fun with food. Take this recipe and add things like red peppers or celery or whatever floats your boat. Taste the dish, season the dish, and above all, enjoy the dish!

Lemon Thyme Scallops with Summer Orzo Salad
•6 diver scallops
•1 tablespoon butter
•1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
•maldon sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper
•1 lemon, zested and juiced,
•1 tablespoon fresh chopped thyme
•1 cup whole wheat orzo
•1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
•1/2 navel orange, segmented and large dice
•1/2 gala apple, sliced
•1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
•2 tablespoons fresh chopped basil

Place scallops on a plate and pat try. Season with salt and pepper. In a large saute pan, melt butter over medium high heat. Cook scallops about 3 minutes a side, remove from pan, and let cool. Cook whole wheat orzo according to package directions and rinse under cold water. Drain and let cool. In a large bowl, add tomatoes and season with sea salt and pepper. Let stand at room temperature for about 10 minutes. Then add in the remaining ingredients. Toss to combine. To serve, place one cup of the pasta mixture on a plate and top with 3 scallop. Squeeze a little lemon juice over the scallops and serve. Happy eating!

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Kari Karch

Kari Karch is a 19-year veteran of the culinary industry, creator of Kiss the Cook, and the head chef and spokesperson for the Kenmore brand. She has made many notable appearances on ABC Morning News, on WGN, on the Cooking Channel and as a judge for the World Food Championships.