Seared Scallops & a Rye Berry Chick Pea Salad

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So, as we had discussed earlier, Thanksgiving is next week. And guess what? I’m so SICK of the food already. As a food writer, I’ve been cooking Thanksgiving meals since the beginning of November so as you can imagine, the thought, sight or smell of turkey has me ready to gag. I’m sure this will pass next week when I’m enjoying t-day at my BFF’s, but until then, my house is a turkey free zone. Instead, I’m eating things unrelated to holidays at all, like perfectly seared scallops served over a rye berry chick pea salad. See, that is the kind of stuff I want to eat.

Until a few weeks ago, I’d never actually made a scallop. I had this innate fear that they would turn out inedible, rubbery, disgusting. Perhaps it’s because I watch a lot of Top Chef (and subsequently, a lot of top chefs f up these mullosks) I was terrified. And you know what? That was the dumbest fear I’ve ever had. These are the easiest things to cook in the entire world. The only thing you have to perfect is the timing. 2 minutes on each side in a hot, stainless steel pan coated with oil.  If you get the timing right, you get beautifully seared scallops that are a little crispy on the outside and perfectly soft on the inside.

Really, it’s as simple as that. In addition to timing, you need fresh scallops. I was lucky enough to get sent an entire BOX filled with amazing seafood (and a few bags of luscious scallops) from Alaska. And you know what? You’d be hard-pressed to find a fresher, better scallop than the ones caught by the tireless Alaskan fishermen.

So, scallops are incredibly delicious on their own (and low-calorie, just 35 in one!) but you need a little more umph to make them a meal. That’s where my rye berry chick pea salad came in. I had a huge bag of organic rye berries from the fabulous folks at Bob’s Red Mill that was begging to be used.

Rye berries are so flavorful and fragrant on their own, but I wanted a heartier salad. So I paired them with chopped chick peas, a honey mustard dressing and some crunchy pomegranate seeds for good measure. Then, places a few plump, juicy scallops on top and WALAH!

I’m so proud of this dish. I’ve been feeling so uninspired and unoriginal lately and this dish just proves to me that I’ve got it. That I’m creative and exciting in the kitchen. And, this fiber rich, lower calorie entree has nothing to do with any holidays. It’s just good food for a Wednesday night. I think that’s what I’m most excited about!

Sear Scallops & a Rye Berry Chick Pea Salad

Serves about 3. Salad recipe inspired by Bob’s Red Mill.


For the scallops:

  • 9 small – medium size fresh scallops
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

For the salad:

  • 1/2 cup dry rye berries (will make 1 cup cooked)
  • 1 3/4 cup water
  • 1/3 cup chopped chick peas
  • 1 tablespoon honey mustard
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon pomegranate juice
  • 2 tablespoons parsley
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Heat water in a medium size saucepan over high heat. Add rye berries and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for about an hour, or until soft.
  2. Pat scallops dry with a clean towel. While rye berries cook, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium size stainless steel skillet. Once hot, add scallops and cook for about 2 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. When rye berries are done cooking, place them in a mixing bowl. Add chopped chick peas and pomegranate seeds and stir. To prepare the dressing, whisk the honey mustard, olive oil, lemon juice, pomegranate juice, parsley and salt and pepper. Add additional ingredients to taste.
  4. Pour dressing over the rye berry and chick pea salad and mix well. Distrbute among two bowls. Top the salad with lettuce leaves or basil and place 3 scallops on each. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Nutritional information per serving (3 scallops and about 2/3 cup salad)

Calories: 410.67
Fat: 14 grams
Carbohydrates: 50 grams
Fiber: 7 grams
Protein: 18.6 grams 
Weight Watchers Points:  9

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  1. Posted by Elaine @ Cooking to Perfection on
    Thursday, November 15th, 2012
    I'm intimidated by scallops too...but you make it sound SO easy. Might have to test this out for myself. :)
  2. Posted by Alaina @ Fabtastic Eats on
    Thursday, November 15th, 2012
    I love scallops..sadly my fiance won't go anywhere near seafood! This sounds delish though!
    • Posted by claire on
      Thursday, November 15th, 2012
      hahah! My hubs won't either. More for us!
  3. Posted by elizabeth @ chronic venture on
    Thursday, November 15th, 2012
    i had the same fear of scallops, but the are just so easy and delicious! the salad to go with these sounds amazing!
  4. Posted by amy donovan on
    Thursday, November 15th, 2012
    Scallops are one of my favorite things to make for a slightly fancier dinner, + soooo much easier to perfect than most people realize. Yours look nommy!
    • Posted by claire on
      Thursday, November 15th, 2012
      Mine too! :) yay!
  5. Posted by The Beeroness on
    Thursday, November 15th, 2012
    You are so right about this. So easy to cook but you HAVE to start with the good stuff. Cheap scallops are soaked in a liquid that makes them taste soapy. Good scallops are the key. And of course, Alaksa has the best :)
  6. Posted by Christina on
    Thursday, November 15th, 2012
    So easy to make and so delicious. Top Chef has me scared of Vegemite. Not that I ever wanted to try it to begin with, but still. :) Haha
  7. Posted by Kristen @ The Balanced Bowl on
    Thursday, November 15th, 2012
    This looks amazing! First...the photos are perfect. Second...what a great combination. I am excited to try this over the weekend. I am already craving it just from your description. Thanks!
  8. Posted by Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. on
    Thursday, November 15th, 2012
    This looks so delicious! I love a good scallop!
  9. Posted by Lizzy Do on
    Thursday, November 15th, 2012
    Oh, my, does this look outstanding! Who needs turkey? Pass me the scallops!!!!
  10. Posted by Bree on
    Friday, November 16th, 2012
    I love scallops and these ones look delish! I am kind of sick of Thanksgiving recipes too! ;)
  11. Posted by Kelly Hunt on
    Friday, November 16th, 2012
    What a great dish, these look incredible!! :)
  12. Posted by Tutti Dolci on
    Friday, November 16th, 2012
    Seared scallops are so good!
  13. Posted by Ashley on
    Friday, November 16th, 2012
    I'm not a fan of turkey, so Thanksgiving has always been about the sides for me. These scallops look absolutely perfect, Claire!!!