Packed full of fresh flavors, the combination fresh scallops with pesto and quinoa paste is deliciously refreshing. Perfect appetizer or summertime dish, easy to make too. For my presentation, I used my favorite clam plates, good for any sea food, especially scallops. —Snezhana Flynn
Make the Quinoa: Add quinoa and water/vegetable stock to a small pot. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and allow to cook for 15-20 minutes, or until quinoa is tender and the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat, fluff with a fork, then set aside.
Make the Pesto: While the quinoa is cooking, add basil, olive oil, nutritional yeast/cheese, stock, and garlic to a small blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Taste, season with salt + pepper if needed, then blend again to combine. Add walnuts and pulse until small bits remain (I like a little crunch in my pesto, but you can blend until smooth, too).
Assemble the Pesto & Quinoa: Pour pesto into the quinoa pot and mix until combined. Season with additional salt + pepper if needed. Top with red pepper flakes, walnuts, and/or cheese if desired.
Season scallops with salt and pepper. Pan-fry the scallops for one and a half minutes on each side, depending on thickness they should feel slightly springy when pressed. Make sure you turn them in the same order you put them into the pan to ensure even cooking.
Remove ready scallops and plate the dish as you like, but scallops over the Pesto and Quinoa paste.