Recipe courtesy of Jason Hernandez

Sauteed Scallops with a Spicy Piquillo Pepper Puree

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 30 min
  • Prep: 30 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
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Piquillo Pepper Puree:

1/2 medium onion

3 medium garlic cloves

2 medium serrano peppers

8 large piquillo peppers (1 jar)

1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves

2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning

1 tablespoon smoked, spicy pimenton

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 large pinch crushed red pepper flakes

1 tablespoon lime juice

3 to 4 tablespoons Spanish extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


20 large sea scallops

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Cayenne pepper

4 tablespoons cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon butter

Sprig fresh thyme


  1. Puree: Roughly chop the onions, garlic, peppers, piquillos, and cilantro; then add all puree ingredients into a food processor, except the olive oil and salt and pepper. Pulse several times until all ingredients have been finely diced. Once finely diced, slowly drizzle olive oil into food processor, while pulsing. Taste, add salt and pepper, as needed. Remove puree from processor and add to a large skillet over medium heat. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly, then reduce heat to low.
  2. Scallops: Pat and dry scallops with paper towels; lightly season with salt, pepper, and cayenne. Heat olive oil and butter in large skillet over very high heat. In batches, cook scallops until golden brown and opaque throughout, about 2 minutes per side.
  3. Plate scallops on a white rectangular plate, lightly drizzle plate and scallops with piquillo pepper puree. Garnish with fresh thyme and serve.