Cook time: ~ 20 mins
- 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 6 black peppercorns, plus freshly ground for seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon (or more) fresh lemon juice
- 1 1/2 tablespoons of light oil (grapeseed, vegetable, etc.)
- 1 lb of sea scallops, side muscle removed
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup mixed cilantro and flat-leaf parsley with tender stems
- Olive oil (for drizzling)
- 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
1. Grind first five ingredients to a fine powder in spice mill or pestle. Transfer to a small saucepan over medium-low heat; add oil. Cook until oil begins to simmer, 2-3 minutes. Strain into a small bowl (use cheesecloth if you want a perfectly smooth oil). Stir in garlic and lemon zest. Let cool for 5 minutes, then stir in 1 TBSP lemon juice. Season with salt, pepper, and more juice, if desired.
SAVE TIME: This oil can be made up to one week ahead. Just cover and store in the fridge, then rewarm before using.
2. Heat the light oil in a large heavy skillet over high heat until oil begins to smoke. Season scallops with salt and pepper. Sear well until browned, about 3 minutes. Turn; cook until just barely opaque in center, about 30 seconds longer.
3. Meanwhile, place herbs in a medium bowl and drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice; season to taste with salt and pepper. Divide scallops between two or three plates, spoon 1 TBSP spice oil over each plate (reserve remaining oil for another use). Garnish with the greenery.