Scallop-Beef Skewers with Coriander Pesto

Even when the sun is shining and outdoor activities beckon, meals have to be made. But who wants to spend endless hours peeling and chopping this time of year? Enter our summer menu with its focus on relaxed, simple mealtimes. And because the grill is an essential part of the season, we start with colourful surf-and-turf brochettes that help keep things cool inside. Our recipe is for two but it can be doubled easily.

Both the pesto and the brochettes can be made ahead and refrigerated. The side dishes can be as varied as you wish. Topping freshly cooked vegetables with vinaigrette perks up the flavour of any green or side dish. Juicy fresh strawberries need little embellishment but for a special treat, mix them with a little sugar, grated orange rind and a gurgle of raspberry brandy. It’s heaven in a bowl.

Scallop-Beef Skewers with Coriander Pesto

8 sea scallops
6 oz beef tenderloin or sirloin (180 g)
1 onion, cut in sixteenths
Half sweet red pepper, cut in chunks

Coriander Pesto:

3/4 cup packed fresh coriander (175 ml)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (50 ml)
2 tbsp pine nuts (25 ml)
1 tsp grated lemon rind (5 ml)
1 tsp lemon juice (5 ml)
2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese (25 ml)
1 small clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp each salt and pepper (1 ml)

Coriander Pesto: In food processor, blend coriander, oil, pine nuts, lemon rind and juice until smooth. Scrape into bowl. Stir in cheese, garlic and salt and pepper.

• Cut meat into 1-inch (2.5 cm) cubes. Thread onto metal or soaked bamboo skewers, alternating with half the onion and half the red pepper. Thread scallops onto remaining skewers, alternating with remaining onion and red pepper.

• Place skewers on greased grill over medium-high heat. Cook scallop brochettes, turning once and brushing with pesto, for about 6 minutes or until scallops are opaque. Cook beef brochettes, turning once and brushing with pesto, for 8 to 10 minutes or until medium rare or desired doneness.

Makes 2 servings.

per-serving nutritional information: calories: 547; protein: 34 g; fat: 41 g; saturated fat: 8 g; carbohydrate: 10 g; dietary fibre: 2 g; sodium: 491 mg.

TIP: You can substitute salmon for the scallops. Cut an 8-oz (250 g) centre-cut filet into cubes similar or slightly larger than the meat. Salmon won’t cook as quickly as scallops, so it can be threaded onto the same skewers as the sirloin.

TIP: Try to buy “dry” scallops, which have not been immersed in a liquid after being caught (which plumps up their weight and contributes to a heftier price).

Next elegant barbecue idea: Mediterranean Stuffed Chicken.


Have you tried this recipe or have a cooking tip for other readers? Share it in the comments below.

More ideas for the grill:

Tex-Mex Black Bean Burgers
Grilled Butterflied Homegrown Ontario Turkey Breast
Beef Sliders stuffed with California Walnuts and Gorgonzola
6 ways to dress up your burger
Grilled Cinnamon French Toast

Plus see what else is cooking in our in recipes archive.