Quinoa is still the whole grain darling of the day and for good reason. Hailed as the “super-grain of the future,” it contains more protein than any other grain. If you have any leftover cooked quinoa after making this recipe, feel free to toss it into your green salad or throw some in a hot steaming bowl of soup. Note: This recipe for scallops makes 2 servings; double if needed.


For the quinoa

  • 1 cup white, red or multi-color quinoa
  • 1½ cups water
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2-4 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste

For the scallops

  • 2 oranges, peel, pith removed
  • 1 large avocado, peeled, pitted, finely diced
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 1½ teaspoons seeded & minced red jalapeno
  • kosher salt, freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 10-12 oz. sea scallops, patted dry


  1. To make the quinoa, place it in a saucepan, rinse with cold water, and drain. Repeat the rinsing 3 more times, then drain the quinoa and return it to the pan. Add the 1½ cups water and a pinch of salt, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer until all the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and let stand for at least 5 minutes before serving. Fluff the quinoa with a fork and then stir in the olive oil and basil. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Meanwhile, cut the oranges in half, slice them ⅓-inch thick and then cut into ⅓-inch cubes. Place in a bowl, gently stir in the avocado, basil, shallot and jalapeno. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. In a large nonstick frying pan over med.-high heat, warm the olive oil. Season the scallops with salt and pepper, add to the pan and saute until almost springy to the touch, about 2 minutes per side. Spread the quinoa on 2 warmed plates. Top with salsa and then the scallops. Serve immediately. Makes 2 servings.

Source: Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Weeknight Gluten Free, by Kristine Kidd (Weldon Owen, 2013)

avatar of barbara walch

Barbara Walch

Barbara Walch joined the staff of Plano Profile in August 1986 and currently serves as Food Editor and Associate Publisher, Community Relations. In addition to writing Dining In, a monthly food feature,...