Cocktail Hour Scallops

4 people
Prep Time:
00h 15
Cook Time:
00h 15
Seared Scallop Polenta Bites with Tomato Pesto: 
I love Polenta! Probably because I grew up eating it but never being able to master the art of perfectly cooking polenta. So finding it pre-made and ready to heat up (sauté, grill, bake, you name it!) was a game changer for me. Polenta is such a great ingredient to add to your dinner parties and get togethers. And I haven’t come across a guest yet who didn’t enjoy it. These bites are delicious and rich in flavor. Pair them with a Malbec or Shiraz. 
Seared Scallop Polenta Bites with Basil Pesto: 
Because I love pestos and polenta, why not try it both ways! The basil pesto offers a lighter flavor and the drizzle of balsamic glaze is the perfect amount of sweetness to these bites! For these I suggest a crisp Riesling or a Pinot Grigio! 

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Ingredients and Method


  • 1 pound scallops
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 14 ounce can diced tomatoes, use half
  • 1 cup parmesan cheeses, grated
  • basil, chopped
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 tube cooked polenta
  • 1 cup arugula


  1. FOR THE PAPRIKA & GARLIC SAUTEED SCALLOPS: Mix together the Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder, and Paprika. Gently toss the Scallops in the seasoning. On medium heat, pour in the olive oil and white wine. Once simmering, add in the Scallops. Sear them on each side for 4-5 minutes. That’s it!
  2. FOR THE SCALLOP & POLENTA BITES WITH TOMATO PESTO: For this recipe I purchased a tube of pre-cook polenta that you just need to reheat, it’s just as delicious and a time saver for any gathering prep! These are easy to use and slice.
  3. I also threw together a quick tomato pesto to top the bites with.
  4. Cut the tube of polenta into about 1 inch thick rounds. In a large pan, on medium heat, oil the pan and place the rounds with enough space between each one so they cook accordingly. I like to season the polenta with a little salt and pepper to taste on each side.
  5. Let these cook for about 6 minutes on each side until they have a nice crisp edge.
  6. Once done, plate your rounds and top with a dollop of the tomato pesto, a seared scallop (using the recipe above), and some Arugula. I like sprinkling some freshly cracked pepper on top! Serve and enjoy!
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