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Sautéed Scallops with Meyer Lemon Relish

Sautéed Scallops with Meyer Lemon Relish

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 8
For a fanciful presentation, place each cooked scallop in a scallop shell and arrange on a platter or tray. Then serve as a passed hors doeuvre or place on a buffet table.


For the Meyer lemon relish:

  • 2 Meyer lemons, quartered and seeded
  • 1 shallot, coarsely chopped
  • 2 Tbs. fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp. white balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground white pepper

For the vinaigrette:

  • 1 cup fresh Meyer lemon juice
  • 3 Tbs. fresh lime juice
  • 1 Tbs. minced shallot
  • 1 Tbs. canola oil
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper, to taste

  • 16 sea scallops
  • 1 Tbs. canola oil
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 2 Tbs. chicken stock
  • 1 tsp. white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground white pepper
  • 4 cups baby spinach
  • Meyer lemon slices for garnish


To make the relish, scoop out about half of the pulp from each lemon piece and discard. Coarsely chop the pieces, then put them in a food processor or blender with the shallot and parsley. Pulse several times until minced but not pureed. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the sugar, coriander seeds and vinegar. Season with the salt and pepper. Set aside. The relish can be made up to 2 days ahead and stored, covered, in the refrigerator; bring to room temperature before serving.

To make the vinaigrette, in a small nonreactive saucepan, combine the lemon juice, lime juice and shallot and let stand for 10 minutes. Place the pan over medium-high heat, bring to a simmer and cook until the mixture is reduced to about 3/4 cup, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add the oil and whisk until blended. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

Rinse and dry the scallops. In a fry pan large enough to hold all of the scallops in a single layer without crowding, warm the oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the scallops and sear, turning once, until golden, about 30 seconds per side. Add the wine, stock, vinegar, salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to low and turn the scallops in the sauce until just opaque throughout, about 45 seconds. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Place the spinach in a bowl, drizzle with the vinaigrette and toss to coat. Divide the spinach among 8 salad plates and top each with 2 scallops. Alternatively, use 16 scallop shells, placing a few spinach leaves and 1 scallop in each shell and arranging the shells on a large platter or tray. Add a dollop of the Meyer lemon relish to each plate or shell, drizzle the scallops with any remaining pan juices and garnish with lemon slices. Serve immediately. Serves 8.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Holiday Entertaining, by Georgeanne Brennan (Oxmoor House, 2007).