Scallops with Golden Romesco Sauce and Black Rice

Scallops with Golden Romesco Sauce
Scallops with Golden Romesco Sauce

This recipe for Scallops with Golden Romesco Sauce and Black Rice will make you just say, “WOW” before you even taste it!! With the bright yellow Romesco contrasting with the deep rich color of the rice and beautiful seared sea scallops, you will be mesmerized visually and through the flavor of this incredible dish!

We absolutely love scallops and have been looking for more inventive ways to incorporate them into dishes without sacrificing what truly makes them shine: their flavor. To maintain that delicious scallop flavor, searing them in the smallest amount of butter or oil is the best way. And serving perfectly seared scallops with this beautiful and delicious sauce along with some black rice is exactly what we had in mind!

What is Romesco Sauce?

Romesco is a beautiful sauce of Spanish origin and often paired with seafood and/or vegetables. Honestly, it works with almost anything you can think of! The flavor base of roasted tomato and roasted bell pepper join with the subtle flavors from toasted almonds, garlic, paprika, vinegar, and a bit of spice.

Scallops with Golden Romesco Sauce
Getting that perfect sear is key!

Most often the acidic component is vinegar and usually it is of the sherry or red wine variety. But we chose to use white wine vinegar so as not to compromise the visual aspect of the finished Romesco. The flavor is as stunning as the visual presentation!

Preparing the Scallops

The scallops are prepared in a way to give a nice sear while not being overcooked. Overcooked scallops can really ruin the dish and you won’t get that delicate sweetness that makes scallops so amazing.

Many beautifully seared scallops have disappointed when I’ve realized they were tortured in a cast-iron skillet for 6 minutes and then kept warm in an oven or under a heat lamp! So sad! If scallops were chicken thighs, I’d still be ordering them in restaurants, but 165° scallops are not enjoyable. Because scallops don’t have to be piping hot when eaten to be enjoyed, just focus on the cook and you’ll be rewarded!

For more info on picking out good scallops from the store and achieving that perfect sear, read our post on Perfectly Seared Scallops.

Black (or purple) Rice

The final touch is a beautiful black rice. Black (or purple) rice can be found in many specialty stores and even regular grocery stores now throughout North America. This rice has a nice, complex flavor and has been cultivated for… let’s just say a VERY LONG time throughout Asia. In many parts of Asia, including China and India, it may be more common and easier to find than it has been in North America. But we can find it fairly easily in regular grocery stores in Texas now.

If you haven’t had black rice before, the texture and taste are worth trying it out. Not to mention the stunning presentation when paired with certain vibrant foods, like this golden Romesco.


We hope you enjoy this recipe for Scallops with Golden Romesco Sauce and Black Rice. If you give it a try, leave us a comment below and tell us your thoughts!

We love to see when you make our recipes, so tag us on Instagram @cooking_with_wine!

Scallops with Golden Romesco Sauce
Scallops with Golden Romesco Sauce

Looking for more recipes like this? Check these out!

Do you love our recipes?

We work hard to provide you with delicious FREE recipes here on Cooking With Wine. If you love and value our content and want to support our efforts, you can contribute whatever amount you are comfortable with below.

Buy me a coffee

We will continue to provide you with recipes no matter what, so there is no obligation to contribute! Any and all contributions are greatly appreciated!

Thank you for being part of our community! You are the reason we do what we do!

Scallops with Golden Romesco Sauce and Black Rice

5 from 2 votes
Course: DinnerCuisine: Spanish-InspiredDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time


Total time




  • For the Golden Romesco
  • ½ large yellow bell pepper

  • 2 medium 2 yellow tomatoes

  • 3 cloves 3 garlic

  • Pinch smoked paprika

  • Pinch cayenne pepper

  • ½ tsp kosher salt

  • ¼ tsp black pepper

  • 2 Tbsp 2 white wine vinegar

  • ¼ cup toasted, sliced almonds

  • 1 small 1 slice of stale rustic bread (or breadcrumbs or croutons) to thicken

  • 2 Tbsp 2 quality extra virgin olive oil

  • For the Scallops
  • 16 Large 16 Scallops

  • 1 tsp 1 kosher salt

  • ½ tsp black pepper

  • 2 tsp 2 butter

  • 2 Tbsp 2 finely chopped fresh parsley

  • For the Rice
  • 2 cups 2 water

  • 1 cup 1 black (purple) rice

  • 1 Tbsp 1 butter

  • 2 Tbsp 2 yellow bell pepper, minced

  • ¼ tsp black pepper

  • ¼ tsp Kosher salt (or more to taste)


  • Prepare the Romesco
  • The first thing to do is to roast the bell pepper. Cut your yellow bell pepper in half and reserve one half for the rice and later use (or just eat it in a salad or by itself)! Cut the half you plan to use into 1-2 inch wide strips (make sure it is dry), and place skin side up on a small, foiled baking sheet.
  • Next, broil the pepper until the skin is very blistered and blackened (6-10 minutes). Remove to a small bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and wait about 10 minutes before removing the skin and seeds. This can be done in advance.
  • Preheat your oven to 400°F.
  • Place the garlic in a piece of aluminum foil with a few drops of oil and make a “basket” that has a small hole on top for air to escape. Cut the tomatoes in half and remove the very hard core by the stem. Place both the tomatoes on a foiled baking sheet skin side up along with the garlic pouch and roast for 12 minutes.
  • After 12 minutes, remove the tomatoes from the oven and let cool but leave the garlic in the oven for an additional 8 minutes (20 minutes total). Once the tomatoes are cooled, peel the skin off and remove the seeds. Cut into smaller chunks and set aside with the peppers. Remove the garlic from the oven, which should be softened and should still be white in color. Remove the skins from the garlic and cut the garlic cloves in quarters.
  • Add the bell pepper, tomato, garlic, paprika, cayenne, salt, pepper, vinegar, toasted almonds, and bread pieces to a blender. Process for a minute or so until smooth. Drizzle the olive oil into the Romesco while the blender is on low and process for another minute. Set aside until ready to use. This can all be done a day ahead of time and stored in the fridge.
  • When ready to serve, gently warm the sauce in a saucepan over low for a few minutes to remove the chill for serving.
  • Prepare the rice
  • The ratio of water and rice we used may be different than your rice package directions, so defer to the package of your rice. Bring the water to a boil, then add the rice, butter, bell pepper, and black pepper to the saucepan. Return to a boil, then cover and reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes or until the water is absorbed and rice is tender. Add the salt, fluff the rice and cover; let sit until ready to plate. Taste for seasoning prior to serving.
  • Sear the Scallops
  • Dry your scallops off completely with paper towels and ensure the abductor muscle (the small piece of meat on the side of the scallop) is removed. Sometimes the scallops will not have an abductor muscle on them as it fell off or was removed when processing, but if there is one present, it will be tough when cooked, so peel them off. Sprinkle both sides of each scallop with a very small amount of kosher salt and pepper.
  • Put a large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat (if you must do the scallops in 2 batches that works). Once the skillet is quite hot – not quite smoking – add the small amount of butter (or oil) and quickly make sure it coats the surface where the scallop will be placed. Place your scallops in the pan and cook for 60 seconds undisturbed. Cover for another 30 seconds, then remove the cover, flip the scallops and cook on the other side for 90 seconds uncovered. This is for thick, large scallops (about 1”). If your scallops are not at least ¾ of an inch thick, do not cover at all during the process.
  • Once done, plate the Romesco under the rice and add the scallops or plate in your desired fashion. The Romesco will compliment both the scallops and rice. Enjoy!

Did you make this recipe?

Tag @cooking_with_wine on Instagram and hashtag it #cookingwithwineblog

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CookingWithWine©Copyright 2021. All rights reserved.