Entrées,  Recipes

Moroccan-Spiced Scallops with Lentils

Dino and I were at a gourmet market over the weekend, and we saw a bunch of varieties of lentils. I immediately honed in on the red lentils and told him that I knew I’d seen a lot of recipes that called for them. We picked up a package of them, and I sought out a recipe to make tonight. I picked up some frozen scallops on my lunch break, and left them in the fridge at work, so by the time I got home tonight, they were almost ready to use. This recipe is really nice – the spices are warm and inviting, and the scallops just melt in your mouth. I haven’t worked with lentils too often, and this was a really easy and flavorful way to prepare them. The only change I made was to use low sodium chicken broth instead of vegetable broth.

Moroccan-Spiced Scallops with Lentils
Bon Appétit February 2009

1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 1/2 cups (or more) vegetable broth
1 cup red lentils,* rinsed
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro plus additional for sprinkling
1 1/2 pounds sea scallops, patted dry

Mix first 3 ingredients in small bowl. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in heavy medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add 2 teaspoons spice mixture and sauté 30 seconds. Stir in 21/2 cups vegetable broth and lentils. Bring to boil; reduce heat to medium and simmer until lentils are tender, adding more broth by tablespoonfuls if dry and stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup cilantro; season to taste with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon oil in heavy large skillet over high heat. Sprinkle scallops with salt, pepper, and remaining spice mixture; add to skillet and cook until browned on both sides and just opaque in centers, about 2 minutes per side. Top lentil mixture with scallops and sprinkle with additional cilantro.

* Also known as masoor dal; sold at some supermarkets and at natural foods stores and Indian markets. If unavailable, use green lentils and increase cooking time to about 30 minutes.

MacGourmet Rating: 4 Stars

Ashley Covelli is a food photographer, recipe developer, and culinary instructor based in Ossining, New York. She loves helping people become enthusiastic and adventurous in the kitchen so that they can build skills and confidence to cook for themselves and their loved ones. She can almost always be found with at least 3 different beverages within arm's reach.

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