A dish that’s elegant enough for entertaining but easy enough for a weeknight dinner, Pan Seared Scallops with Olive Artichoke Relish will become a year round menu item thanks to readily available ingredients like California Ripe Olives and fresh scallops.
Disclaimer: This post is created in partnership with California Ripe Olives. All opinions and statements are my own, as always.
Have you ever visited the Napa Valley? It’s been on my bucket list for years…..like several decades. I always wanted to head out west and visit the vineyards…Hollywood movies just make them look so romantic and dreamy. Don’t ya think? But it’s one of those places that is, literally, on the other side of the country. So, I kept putting it to the bottom of the list in favor of locations that required less travel time. Well, friends….I’m finally able to check that item off my bucket list….I made it to the Napa Valley. But not for the vineyards, did you know that California is one of the largest producers of olives? Yes, I went out west for olives and it definitely didn’t disappoint.
I’ve been keeping this one a secret for a bit because it just seemed too good to be true. I’m a big fan of olives and keep them in the pantry to add big bursts of flavor to a variety of dishes but I absolutely LOVE snacking on them. So, many times I eat them before they make it into the recipe. Needless to say, I was absolutely THRILLED to be invited by the California Olive Committee to visit the Culinary Institute of America and learn all about the California Ripe Olive industry!
After a mighty long trip, I had the chance to sit down with a whole table full of my favorite bloggers, California Ripe Olive growers and representatives to a meal of…you guessed it…OLIVES. Every dish was lovingly prepared with olives and I was in heaven. Even the dessert (which I was a bit skeptical about) was made with California Ripe Olives and it was simply spectacular. The menu was created by Elise from Simply Recipes…who, in my opinion, is the trailblazer of food blogging. (BTW….she is, also, the nicest person, ever!)
The next day was filled with a crash course in the California Ripe Olive growing process. Here’s a fun fact, all of the farms are family owned and have been continuously run for generations. It’s refreshing to see that olive farming still has a personal touch, these farmers actually go out into the olive groves and pick the olives with their crew before they go through the curing process. And another fun fact….the method of processing California Ripe Olives was invented in the late 1800s by a housewife named Freda Ehmann and that same recipe is followed today. It starts by putting the olives into a lye curing solution to remove the natural bitterness. (You can’t eat olives straight from the tree….well, you can but they’re mighty bitter!) This is followed by a series of cold-water rinses, which removes every trace of the lye curing solution. During the curing process, which takes several days, air is pumped through the olives. The air is what creates the rich dark color of California Black Ripe Olives. Green Ripe Olives go through a very similar curing process but their tanks are not injected with air. Which allows them to retain their green color.
After we had an olive tasting session complete with smoked AND candied olives (they’re both pretty amazing, BTW!) We skipped off to the kitchen for a group cooking session where we created our own dishes using California Ripe Olives. My group created this amazing pork recipe with California Green Ripe Olives, kumquats, garlic, onions, herbs, wine and some other amazingness that we arranged, artfully of course, on a bed of goat cheese polenta. Then, we created a thick and rich pan sauce to drizzle on top. I’m thinking that recipe will appear here soon but, in the meantime, I created my own olive creation for you to enjoy this summer. It’s quick, easy and perfect for busy weeknights. This Pan Seared Scallops with Olive Artichoke Relish is fresh, simple and loaded with flavor.
I love fresh scallops, especially in the summer months because they’re ready in minutes and won’t weigh you down. These Pan Seared Scallops with Olive Artichoke Relish is done and on the table within 15 minutes. Simply heat a pan until it’s screaming hot, then add a bit of olive oil. Sear your scallops in the pan until they easily release from the pan and are golden brown. Flip and cook on the opposite side until they’re cooked through. While the scallops cook, throw together your relish with sliced California Green Ripe Olives, Chopped Tomatoes, artichoke hearts, lemon juice and a bit more olive oil. Arrange it all on a bed of arugula and you have one heck of a summertime meal!
This Pan Seared Scallops with Olive Artichoke Relish is so easy to make you’ll want to add it to the weekly rotation. So, what’s your favorite olive….green or black? I’m a green olive girl, myself….but here’s one last fun fact…..they actually taste the same (or so they say.) :-). For more information on California Ripe Olives check out their website or follow along on their Facebook page.
Pan Seared Scallops with Artichoke Olive Relish
- 16 large sea scallops, patted dry
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup sliced California Green Ripe Olives
- 1 cup chopped cherry tomatoes
- 1 cup diced canned artichoke hearts, drained
- zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 8 cups fresh arugula
- kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
Heat a large stainless steel skillet over medium high heat. Add the olive oil to the pan and heat until shimmering.
Season the scallops with salt and pepper on both sides.
Add the scallops to the pan (work in batches to avoid overcrowding) and cook for 4-5 minutes or until golden brown and easily release from the pan. Flip and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.
Transfer to a platter and keep warm.
While the scallops are cooking, toss the olives, tomatoes and artichokes together in a bowl to combine. Set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon zest, lemon juice and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Pour the dressing over the olive relish and toss to coat.
- Serve immediately
Relish can be made up to 24 hours in advance and refrigerated in an airtight container.