2 tbsp. pine nuts
2 cloves garlic, peeled
2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
1⁄2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp. freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano
Freshly ground black pepper
24 large sea scallops, muscles removed
2 tbsp. butter
1. Pulse pine nuts and 1⁄2 tsp. salt together in a food processor until finely ground. Add garlic and basil and, with the motor running, drizzle in olive oil. Add parmigiano-reggiano and process into a smooth paste. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
2. Season scallops with salt and pepper. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat, then add butter. When butter begins to brown, add scallops and sear until golden, 1 1⁄2-2 minutes. Turn scallops and cook until opaque, 1 1⁄2-2 minutes more. Spoon pesto onto 8 plates, then set 3 scallops in pesto on each plate.