Fresh, juicy scallops

Juicy scallops on a bed of lambs leaf lettuce dressed with pan juices

We had a huge reason to celebrate… my husband found out he passed his degree so I, being the foodie I am, booked us a nice fancy dinner to celebrate. A little thing to know about my dearest hubby is that he does not eat red meat so any celebration is generally focussed around restaurants that have a good selection of seafood dishes as this feels a bit fancier than the usual chicken.

Having recently moved to London I have found that there is a limited selection of seafood restaurants that serve the type of seafood we like to enjoy. By this I mean warm, richly flavoured cooked seafood and not the towers of shellfish served over ice in the dead of winter.

Never the less I found a quaint little place in central London that had great reviews so off we went. We were definitely not disappointed. The seafood was fresh and cooked to perfection but the star of the evening was by far the scallops started. Served in the shell, delicately flavoured with Pernod (an anise flavoured liquor) with a crisp crumb topping, this was just the type of dish we had been looking for.

Sea scallops with a crisp crumb topping

However, after paying an arm and a leg for a seemingly simplistic dish I set out to come up with my own scallop dish.

Scallops are surprisingly easy to find in the UK although they vary quite a bit in price dependant on how big and if they are diver caught (these are premium quality) or not.

I bought fresh scallops and decided to keep things simple.

Let’s start cooking…

The first step to get a lovely crust on the outside of the scallop is to dry them off really well before cooking. Once dry, season liberally with salt and pepper and add to a screaming hot pan that’s got a little bit of melted butter in already. Sear for 2 minutes per side the remove scallops from the pan.

Lower the heat a bit then add in more butter, lemon juice and lemon zest. Return the scallops to the pan for a final bathe in the delicious juices, baste for 1 minute then switch of the heat and plate up.

I served it as a started salad on top of a bed of lambs leafs lettuce that had been dressed with some of the lemony pan juices.


  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Juicy, lemony scallops


• 400g scallops
• Salt
• Pepper
• 1 lemon, zested and juiced
• 4 tblsp Butter


  1. Dry scallops thoroughly and season liberally with salt and pepper
  2. Melt half the butter in a hot pan
  3. Place scallops in but don’t overcrowd the pan
  4. Sear on each side for 2 minutes until golden and remove from the pan
  5. To the pan, add the remaining butter, lemon juice and zest and the scallops, basting frequently for 1 minute
  6. Serve on a bed of lambs leaf lettuce that’s been dressed with the pan juices

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