The critical rule in cooking scallops is to make sure they are fresh as well as “dry,” meaning they are free of preservatives so there is very little liquid released when searing them in a nutty brown butter herbed with thyme.
I like to serve these scallops as an appetizer over a bed of sunchoke puree and then top with a delicious tomato tartar. It’s a great start to a dinner that will have a beef entree. You can make most of it in advance so all you have to do is sear the scallops, plate and serve hot.
Serves 8 as an appetizer
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 8 large dry fresh sea scallops, side muscle removed, pat dry
- Kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into small pieces
- 6 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 3 tablespoons of lemon juice
- Sunchoke puree
- Tomato tartar
- Before your guests arrive, make the sunchoke puree and tomato tartar, set aside, you will just need to gently reheat the puree
- Heat the olive oil in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, season the scallops with the salt and pepper, on both sides, put the scallops in and cook for 3 minutes, they will be golden brown, then add the butter and thyme. Flip the scallops and cook for 3 minutes and during that time continue to spoon the butter over the scallops. The butter will brown and have a nutty taste to it, add the lemon juice half-way through
- Spread the puree on each plate then place the scallop, drizzle some of the lemon butter then topped with the tomato tartar