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Seared Scallops with Bulgur and Parsley Oil

Jun 17, 2015 04:00PM ● By Cate Reynolds
Rhea’s Rundown

Treat dad to a little surf and turf with The Rib Eye and this simple, but decadent dish in which a few quality ingredients go a long way. Caramelized scallops on a bed of bulgur are brightened with a light parsley oil and a squeeze of fresh lemon. I used a medium-grain wheat bulgur available in the bulk pasta section of Whole Foods. They also have a prepackaged red bulgur in aisle one. As always, when cooking scallops try to use them the day you buy them, thoroughly pat them dry beforehand, and cook them over high heat. Once you set them in the pan, try not to move them except for when they need to be flipped. The recipe notes that a nonstick pan is easier to work with, but a stainless steel pan will provide better caramelization.

Ingredients – Serves 4
  • 8 large dry sea scallops
  • 1 cup bottled clam juice or water
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus about 1 cup well chilled
  • ½ cup medium-grain bulgur
  • ½ cup tightly packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges


1. In a saucepan, combine the clam juice and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and add the bulgur. Cover tightly and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for at least 10 minutes.

2. Make sure the cold olive oil is thoroughly chilled; this will help keep the parsley oil green. Put the parsley in a blender with a large pinch of salt. With the machine running, slowly stream in the 1 cup cold oil. When the parsley starts to break up and mixture loosens, stop the blender and scrape down the sides of the jar. Start the blender again and slowly add more oil until the parsley is pulverized and the parsley oil is bright green and spoonable. Use only enough of the cold oil to make a smooth mixture.

3. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. (A nonstick pan is easier to work with, but a regular stainless-steel pan will give better caramelization.) Pat the scallops thoroughly dry with paper towels (drier than you think they need to be!) When the oil is smoking, season the scallops on all sides with salt and pepper. Carefully place them in the pan and cook, without moving them, for 1-2 minutes. The scallops should start showing a little golden color on the bottom edges. At this point, using a spatula or large spoons, peek underneath one. If the bottom of the scallop is a deep golden brown, flip it; if not, continue cooking for up to 1 minute more. After each scallop is turned, again cook without moving until deep golden brown on the second side, 1-2 minutes. Press the scallops lightly to test for doneness; they should yield. Do not cook them until hot all the way through or they will be overcooked.

4. To serve, uncover the bulgur and fluff the grains with a fork. Spoon the bulgur onto a platter and arrange the scallops on top. Finish with a squeeze of lemon juice and a drizzle of the parsley oil (save the remaining oil for another use). Serve right away.

Sussman, Eli & Max. “Seared Scallops with Bulgur and Parsley Oil.” The Best Cookbook Ever. Weldon Owen, Inc. and Williams-Sonoma, Inc. San Francisco, California. 2013.

Rhea Torreon
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