Serious Eats: Recipes

Dinner Tonight: Grilled Scallops with Mint Pesto and Balsamic Syrup

[Photograph: Blake Royer]

No matter how many times I cook scallops, they still feel utterly fancy and special when I make them at home—it's more like I'm eating at a restaurant than my own kitchen. This recipe, from Diane Rossen Worthington's Seriously Simple, does nothing to spoil this fantasy. It features a complex twist on pesto using toasted almond and pungent mint leaves that pairs wonderfully with the sweet scallops and is pretty easy to prepare.

I served the scallops on a bed of greens, but it would go just as easily on top of cooked pasta for a heartier meal. The key is to use the extra pesto to dress the salad or pasta, as well as the balsamic syrup that's drizzled on the scallops. That syrup, by the way, is a fantastic method for turning average balsamic vinegar into something far more special: By just reducing the vinegar for a few minutes, it becomes sweeter and closer in taste to far more expensive aged balsamics.

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