Pan-seared scallops with lemon butter is my favorite way to eat scallops. Cooked in a cast iron skillet right on the grill or stovetop. If you don’t have a cast iron skillet I highly recommend you pick one up. Cast iron is inexpensive and it can be used on the grill, stove, or in the oven. Here is what I use.
The secret to getting the golden brown seared edge is to cook the scallops in olive oil on high heat for 1-2 minutes per side. If you cook scallops directly in the lemon butter sauce, it won’t get hot enough to sear the edge. Once scallops are golden brown, remove from the skillet and set aside. Add the lemon butter ingredients to the skillets and stir until fully melted. Return the scallops for an additional minute per side and plate with a drizzle of lemon butter.
You don’t need to use a lot of butter to get a lot of great flavor, so this is a delicious high protein and relatively light dish or appetizer. The lemon butter sauce consists of fresh minced parsley, garlic, butter and lemon juice. You can add the garlic to taste or leave it out all together. I typically use parsley but I sometimes will use a little basil as well.
That’s it. The perfect gourmet app has never been easier.
- 8 large sea scallops, side muscle removed
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
Lemon Butter Sauce:
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
- 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
- Juice of half a lemon, squeezed
- Pat scallops dry and season with salt and pepper. Mince the parsley and garlic and set aside. Add the olive oil to a 12 inch cast iron skillet and bring to high heat.
- Once skillet is hot, add the scallops to the pan and sear for 2 minutes per side or until golden brown on the top and bottom.
- Remove scallops from the skillet and set aside. Add the butter, garlic, lemon and fresh parsley to the skillet, stirring occasionally until fully melted.
- Return the scallops to the skillet and cook for an additional minute per side. Place on a serving dish and drizzle with extra lemon butter sauce as desired. Sprinkle with a pinch of leftover fresh herbs and serve immediately.