Scallops Provençal

Scallops are a food that I have not always had an affinity for.  In fact, I used to hate them.  When I was a child I remember my mom would make a dish with scallops that I really did not like, but I was always made to finish every last bite.  To me, the scallops seemed like fishy bites of rubber.  Now, I have heard from most who knew her that my mom was an excellent cook and I’m sure that was true, but I have a feeling she may have overcooked her scallops.  Good scallops that have been well prepared should not be tough at all, but instead practically melt in your mouth.

This is the recipe that converted me to a scallop lover.  It’s very easy to love.  The scallops really shine in a simple butter and white wine sauce.  Another huge plus is that this meal is so simple, it comes together very quickly.  It’s an easy, elegant dinner that would be wonderful for a special occasion, but is also suitable for changing things up from your usual routine on a weeknight.  I don’t really make any alterations to the recipe other than not cutting the scallops in half as Ina recommends.  They obviously need to cook a little longer this way, but it’s just my personal preference to keep them whole.  I served these atop a bed of wilted spinach with our favorite garlic rice pilaf and it was a lovely meal.

Scallops Provençal
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1 lb. fresh bay or sea scallops
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black peper
All-purpose flour, for dredging
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
½ cup minced shallots (about 2 large)
1 clove garlic, finely minced
2-3 tbsp. flat-leaf parsley, minced
1/3 cup dry white wine
1 lemon, halved

If using bay scallops, leave them whole.  If using sea scallops, cut them in half horizontally (or, leave them whole and cook a bit longer).  Season the scallops with kosher salt and black pepper, toss with flour, and shake off the excess.

In a large skillet or sauté pan, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over high heat until sizzling.  Add the scallops to the pan in a single layer.  Lower the heat to medium and allow the scallops to brown lightly on one side without moving.  Then turn and brown lightly on the other side.  This should take about 3-4 minutes total (closer to 8 minutes for sea scallops left whole).

Add the rest of the butter to the pan with the scallops and let it melt.  Add the shallots, garlic, and parsley to the pan and sauté for 2 more minutes, tossing the seasonings with the scallops.  Add the wine to the pan and cook for 1 minute.  Taste the sauce for seasoning and adjust as necessary.  Serve hot, with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice over the scallops.

Source: adapted from Barefoot in Paris by Ina Garten

15 Responses

  1. These look not only elegant and tasty but relatively low-fuss and simple as well! How do you manage to cook such diverse meals, take photos AND post nearly everyday?? (I am wondering if you get any more than five hours of sleep!!)

  2. I always thought scallops looked rubbery and unappealing (though I had never tried one) until I tasted some of my sister’s appetizer at a restaurant – they were pretty good! I’d love to try making them at home and my husband would love it! The garlic wine sauce sounds divine. I think I love all of Ina’s recipes.

  3. I love scallops and at times I have a tendancy to overcook them. When I make a seafood dish I have to make two meals. One for my kids and I and the other for my husband since he doesn’t eat seafood. Its a quick elagant meal that looks like you spent so much time preparing. I love that you put it on a bed of spinach. I think I’ll try it on a bed of butternut squash with apples and kale or spinach. Thank you for the idea!

  4. What an elegant meal! I have to say I really dont like any seafood at all, especially scallops. But this presentation is beautiful 🙂

  5. That looks so pretty and delicious! I’m definitely starring this to try soon!

  6. I have NEVER made scallops–I’ve always been so afraid of them 🙂 This recipe looks delicious and fairly easy to put together. Can’t wait to give it a try!!

  7. I’m really glad you posted this recipe! My goal this year is to get over my fear of cooking scallops and to actually start adding them to our menu. This reminded me of my goal and the recipe looks awesome!

  8. Love scallops. This looks fab!

  9. Hi Annie! I found your site a little while ago and love it! I’ve wanted to make these scallops forever, but didn’t like them in the gratin dishes. Brilliant idea, love the wilted spinach. Seems so obvious, but apparently not. Thanks!

  10. mmm these look so delicious!

  11. I used to love fried scallops when I was a kid, but I haven’t had them in forever. These look perfect!

    Also. I’m making your garlic rice pilaf tomorrow with some baked chicken legs! I can’t wait.

  12. One look at this post, and I knew EXACTLY what I wanted for dinner… sadly, I ended up cooking a big pot of chili. This will have to be on the menu this week for sure!!!

    I’m new to food blogging and found your blog a few weeks ago. I’m looking forward to following you! Made your Bacon and Egg Toast Cups a few weeks ago – they are delicious and adorable to serve!! Thanks for posting!

    ~Emerging Domesticity

  13. I’m new to your site, but I’m so stoked that you have this recipe on here! I love this Barefoot Contessa recipe too! I’ve made it a handful of times. It’s very simple and comes out really well as both a weeknight meal and to impress company. It’s also great that it calls for bay scallops, which are often much less expensive. I think it also goes really well with the herbed basmati rice that Ina makes with it. Yours look perfect!

  14. Hi Annie, I commented once this post (and for the very first time ever), but wanted to comment again to thank you for the wilted spinach serving suggestion with the scallops. I made them this weekend and the spinach was great. Thanks so much!

  15. I LOVE this! I was a little scared to make scallops without making them chewy. I have never made scallops before, but they came out wonderfully. Even my 3 year old ate it right up! Thanks for this recipe!

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