Last spring I started drinking infused water, with a variety of different fruits and herbs in it. One of my favorites though was the classic cucumber, mint, lemon and lime version. So last summer Nan planted me some mint and basil for my water-infusing endeavors. The plant quickly outgrew what I was able to use though, plus, like most things with me, I got bored of drinking it quickly! So I had to find a use for all this basil and mint!
I found a Giada De Laurentiis recipe for Jumbo Shrimp with Basil & Mint Pesto and decided to try it out. I’m not a HUGE shrimp eater however, so I substituted scallops in place of the shrimp. I also wanted to make it more of a “meal” so I served them over some fettuccine noodles. I made the basil and mint pesto according to Giada’s recipe. I do not recommend making this ahead as I tried that and the parmesan cheese got a bit clumpy. Make it fresh.
Then all there is to do is cook your pasta to al dente and sear your scallops. I used big fresh sea scallops here, a full pound. Clean them well by removing that little side muscle piece, then rinsing and patting dry. Season with salt and pepper. Add two tablespoons each of butter and olive oil to a skillet on high heat. Once the butter and oil start to smoke, carefully place your scallops in the pan. Sear them for about 1 1/2 minutes per side, so they get a nice golden crust but being careful not to overcook them – rubbery scallops are cucky! Then just toss them in your mint basil pesto and serve over cooked pasta. Voila!