June 28, 2013

Seared scallops over pearl couscous with peas and garlic scape sauce

Finished plate of seared scallops over pearl couscous with peas and garlic scapes.

This dish is a lovely early summer dinner full of fresh sweet peas and slightly spicy garlic scapes. 

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Garlic scapes are something I look forward to now that I've discovered their tastiness. If you haven't tried them yet, keep your eyes open at the farmers' market. You'll love them if you are a fan of garlic and they make delicious pesto and sauces, or can just be sauteed with some vegetables. 

Checkout this article from Backyard Boss for more information and ideas for eating garlic scapes. They aren't around long, so grab some soon! 

This dish was inspired by the garlic scapes and fresh peas I bought at the market last weekend. I knew I wanted to pair the peas with pearl (or Israeli) couscous to match the size and shape of the peas. After a search at the grocery store, I finally found some. 

The scallops were a treat too - a delicious and elegant way to top off this dish. This recipe will make a nice dinner for two. Perfectly romantic, except for all the garlic breath....

Side view of seared scallops on top of pearl couscous.
Seared scallops over pearl couscous with peas and garlic scape sauce
for the sauce:
6 garlic scapes, tough ends removed and roughly chopped
juice of half a lemon
sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper
about 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
for the couscous and scallops:
1 cup dried pearl couscous
1/3 cup shelled fresh peas 
about 10 scallops
sea salt
extra virgin olive oil

Place the garlic scapes, lemon juice, pinch of salt, and grind of black pepper in a food processor. Pulse a few times to begin to break up the scapes. Then puree the mixture while slowly streaming in the extra virgin olive oil until the scapes are relatively smooth and it reaches a thick sauce consistency, about 1/2 cup. Set aside.

In a small pot, bring 1-1/4 cups of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the couscous and peas. Stir, reduce to a simmer, and cover. Cook for about 7-10 minutes, until the water is absorbed and the couscous and peas are tender. Remove from the heat, fluff with a fork, and gently stir in about 3 tablespoons of the garlic scape sauce.

While the couscous is cooking, cook the scallops. First, rinse them well and pat them dry. Remove the "foot" if not removed already. Heat a cast iron skillet (or other heavy bottomed skillet) until hot. Lightly oil the pan and lightly salt the scallops. Sear on both sides until golden and just cooked through, about 3 minutes per side, depending on the size of your scallops.

Place some of the couscous on a plate. Top with half of the scallops. Finish with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a dollop of the garlic scape sauce.

Top view of seared scallops on pearl couscous topped with garlic scape sauce.


  1. This is excellent! Those scallops are so beautifully seared...fantastic to serve with pearl couscous.

  2. I'd serve it over quiona, yum! I also absolutely love scallops. Great job!

  3. That pea and garlic scape sauce sounds fabulous! Such a great use of seasonal ingredients.

  4. Hey, garlic breath does not need to be an impediment to romance if you BOTH have garlic breath!

  5. I love garlic scapes! This is a brilliant recipe! A must-try!

  6. I'll eat scallops served any which way. Nicely browned like this is perfect. And serving them over couscous is nice. Good stuff - thanks.

  7. I'll have to look for garlic scapes at the market. And don't forget - garlic breath doesn't count if you both eat it!

  8. The scallops look just perfect, golden brown and delicious.
    Love the combination with pearl couscous and peas, not to mention the sauce.
    Great recipe Amy.

  9. YUM! This is so appetizing & perfectly done!

  10. Perfect, perfect scallops. What a gorgeous dish. I'd be very happy to tuck into this summery treat.

  11. Oh this looks incredible! What an elegant meal!

  12. Those scallops are seared perfectly! I love the idea of having peas and pearl couscous together. Very pretty dish. I am definitely making them next week. Have a happy 4th of July!

  13. Hmm Amy I've never heard of garlic scrape before but it sounds lovely with the scallops!

  14. Hi Amy, love the scallops, look perfectly done. Beautiful dish, the color look so attractive.

    Have a great week ahead.

  15. I haven't though to do this with cous cous but this is great :)

  16. Dear Amy, This looks heavenly. Blessings dear. Catherine xo

  17. I looooove scallops - they are so elegant, yet so simple to prepare. And this dish looks so wonderful - what a perfect combination of flavors + textures!

  18. Love everything about this dish...especially the pretty color.


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