Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Seared Scallops with Lemon and White Wine

This scallop dish was my triumph over bachelorhood.  I had come home from having a couple beers with my friends and my first thought was order a big bowl of pad see ew from the neighborhood Thai restaurant.  But as my alcohol-induced laziness wore off, I decided that I would cook the jumbo sea scallops that I had purchased earlier in the day.  I scrambled to the stove, seared the scallops in a healthy amount of oil and butter, splashed in some white wine and lemon juice, and served it all over some wilted arugula.  Dinner was ready within 10 minutes, the whole dish cost less than ten bucks, and it tasted a whole lot better than takeout.  Bachelorhood has never felt so glamorous. 

Seared Scallops with Lemon and White Wine
Serves one hungry man

  • 4 large (U-10 or bigger) sea scallops
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • juice from 1/4 of a lemon
  • 2 handfuls of arugula or spinach
  1. Remove the tough muscle from each scallop and pat them dry with a paper towel.  Season the scallops with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat a cast iron skillet over high heat and pour in 1 tbsp of the oil. 
  3. Once the oil is hot, add the scallops.  Cook undisturbed until they are well browned on the bottom, about 2 1/2 minutes.  
  4. Reduce the heat to medium and flip the scallops.  Add the butter to the pan and continue to cook the scallops, basting frequently with the butter, until they are just cooked through, about 1 1/2 minutes.  Remove the scallops from the pan and set them aside on a plate.
  5. Increase the heat to medium-high.  Add the garlic to the skillet and cook until it is fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  6. Pour the wine into the skillet and bring it to a boil.  Cook until the wine is reduced by half, approximately 2 minutes.  
  7. Meanwhile, as the wine reduces, wash the arugula. Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a saute pan over medium-high heat.  Add the arugula and a pinch of salt to the pan and cook, stirring frequently, until it begins to wilt, 1 to 2 minutes.  Remove the arugula from the pan and set it aside on a serving plate. 
  8. Remove the skillet with the white wine from the heat and pour in the lemon juice.  Taste the sauce for salt and pepper. 
  9. Top the arugula with the scallops and pour the white wine lemon sauce over the scallops.  Serve immediately. 


  1. You take such stunning photos of scallops, I l just love the rich brown color. Where do you buy your scallops? There aren't too many places where I know to request U10s but they are the best!

  2. Thanks! I purchase my scallops from The Lobster Place (located in NYC's Chelsea Market and in the West Village). They sell U-10's for around $18 a pound, which is the lowest I've ever seen then in NY. The key is to buy dry scallops and pat them dry with paper towels. The cook them in a very hot pan.

  3. Bravo on the beautiful sear on those luscious scallops. Not always easy to do. And you executed it perfectly.

  4. I do not even eat scallops as I am vegetarian, but pics looks stunning and had to comment!

  5. I like the simplicity of this recipe. Kudos!

  6. I tested this recipe first with my roomate! This is awesome! My boyfriend will definitely like it too when I cook it for him on his birthday :)

  7. Hope your boyfriend has a great birthday (and enjoys his dinner, of course!)!

  8. "Just made scallops with this recipe!!! WOW licked the plates." That's what one of our sustainable seafood supporters from Rochester, NY had to say about this recipe. You can order the Alaskan Scallops Fred used for this recipe at



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