Simple Pan-Seared Scallops
Seared scallops make a perfect addition to any surf-and-turf menu or when served simply on their own. They cook in a matter of minutes and make for an impressive presentation. Serves 2 to 4.
- About 8 large dry-packed scallops, roughly 1 to 1 1/2 lbs.
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 tsp Sigona’s Fresh Press Extra Virgin Olive Oil (we recommend a more mild oil such as Spanish Arbosana)
- 2 tsp unsalted butter
Directions: Rinse and pat dry the scallops. If present, remove the side muscle. Season both sides of the scallops with salt and pepper.
Add oil and butter to a medium-large skillet over high heat. When butter has melted and the mixture has just begun to smoke, use tongs to add the scallops, spacing them about 1 inch apart so they’re not touching.
Cook to sear the scallops for just 1 1/2 minutes each side, turning once. Perfectly seared scallops will have a golden crust that is about 1/4 inch deep on each side, and the middle will still be slightly translucent.
Use tongs to remove scallops. Serve immediately.
Pan-seared Wild Scallops in a Brown Butter & Lemon Sauce with Capers and Chives
It’s easy to get a nice sear on scallops — that delicious, crispy crust exterior that comes from a nice sear. The quick, lemony pan sauce adds a punch of flavor that you don’t want to miss. Adapted from Bon Appetit. Serves 2.
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice (from about 1 lemon)
- 5 or 6 large, wild, dry sea scallops (dry meaning they have not been soaked in a liquid preservative, so look for wild scallops)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 Tbsp Sigona’s Fresh Press Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 1/2 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh chives
- 2 teaspoons drained capers
Directions: Pat dry the scallops. Season lightly on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat a large skillet, preferably stainless steel, over medium-high. Add oil to the pan and tip pan back and forth to coat surface; heat until it shimmers and you see first wisps of smoke.
Identify the top and the bottom sides of the scallop: the top is slightly tilted; the bottom side is flat. Swiftly place scallops into skillet, bottom (flat) side down and cook without wiggling or touching or moving them until underside is deep golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes. Using tongs or a small, thin spatula, flip the scallops over. If they show any resistance when you’re trying to lift, wait another 30 seconds and try again. Cook on the second side until the flesh near the top and bottom looks opaque but the middle still shows a fairly translucent strip, about 1 to 2 minutes, depending on size. Transfer scallops to a plate and set aside.
Pour off any excess oil in skillet and place it back on the burner over medium heat. To the skillet, add the butter and swirl as it melts, foams and browns, about 2 minutes. Add the lemon juice and then whisk the mixture briskly to scrape up the brown bits and emulsify the sauce. Stir in the chives and capers then spoon the sauce over and around the scallops. Serve.