Seafood Sautee with Orzo & Arugula Walnut Pesto

by Nancy Newcomer


Earlier this summer, our family was treated to a lovely dinner hosted by our friends Laurie & Bill. Our mutual longtime friend, Chef Christopher Miller (aka The Galley Gourmet), created and prepared a lovely menu of delectable dishes for us to indulge in. Talk about being spoiled! I asked Chef if I could share one of his recipes and he graciously agreed. From the kitchen of Chef Christopher, here is one of our favorites from that wonderful soiree.

Seafood Sautee with Orzo & Arugula Walnut Pesto


1 cup Orzo
3 Cup water

3/4 cup Walnut pieces
2 cups roughly chopped Arugula
1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1TBs Chopped Garlic
Salt to taste

8-10 squid tubes and tentacles, Tubes cut into rings (calamari)
½ lb dry packed Bay Scallops
½ lb shrimp, Peeled and deveined
1 Tbs Chopped Garlic
Crushed Red Pepper flakes, (To Taste)
Cracked Black Pepper
Juice of 1/2 Lemon


Cook the Orzo in lightly salted boiling water as you would any pasta
once cooked, be sure to rise it well in cold running water to keep it from getting sticky

Lightly toast the walnut pieces in a hot skillet until they just begin to smell toasty,
remove them from the hot skillet and allow the to cool on a plate.

Once cooled, place the walnut pieces in your food processor and pulse them a few times to roughly chop
add the Chopped Arugula, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Chopped Garlic and salt and pulse until a smooth paste.
Don’t over do it or you will bruise the Arugula and your pesto will turn to mush.

Toss the Orzo in about 1/2 of the pesto to coat it, set it aside and allow it to reach room temperature before service.

Rinse and drain all of the seafood well, and place in a bowl with,
1 Tbs finely chopped Garlic, 1 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil, a Pinch of Sea Salt, Cracked Black Pepper,a and Crushed Red Pepper, To taste.
allow to marinate no longer than 20 min.

Heat a Large Sautee Pan over high heat
add 1 tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil to pan to coat
Immediately add the Marinated Seafood and toss for three to four minutes till just done and still tender.
Remove pan from heat and add the juice from 1/2 of a lemon, 2 tbs of the remaining pesto and toss to coat.

Chef Chris works his magic.

Place the seafood atop the Orzo, Garnish with chopped Walnuts lemon wedges, and serve hot or warm as a side dish or entree.

Come & get it!

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