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Sea Scallop Piccata

This is a super easy recipe with very simple ingredients but... you can't do it right until you've mastered the art of searing a large sea scallop. So pay attention!


12 large sea scallops (about 1-1.5 lbs) pssst... I buy 14 in case a screw a couple up.

Salt and pepper to taste

Two swirls around the pan of olive oil, divided

3 tablespoons butter, divided

2 clove garlic minced

1/2 cup dry white wine

3 tablespoons capers, you can find these in the olive section of you grocery store in little jars

Juice of 1/2 lemon

A small handful of parsley, chopped


  • First check all your scallops to confirm that the abductor muscle has been removed. It can be found on the side of the scallop and is crescent shaped. Just pull it off and toss.

  • Dry each scallop thoroughly with a paper towel. Pssst... this is critical.

  • Season scallops lightly with salt and pepper (use a fine grind of pepper).

  • Take a large heavy skillet (stainless steel works great) and warm it on medium heat for a few minutes until hot but not scorching. You can check this by sprinkling a bit of water on the surface of the pan... when it dances... you are good to go.

  • Add one swirl around the pan of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter. Heat until the butter melts and begins to foam but don't let it brown!

  • Gently place scallops in pan, flat side down. They should not be touching.

  • Sear for 1.5 minutes WITHOUT TOUCHING, TURNING OR OTHERWISE POKING AT THE SCALLOPS. Pssst... you can cook for 2 minutes per side if you prefer a darker sear.

  • Carefully turn them over (they should not stick) and cook for another 1.5 minutes.

  • Transfer to a plate and cover loosely with a paper towel to keep warm.

  • Add one swirl around the same pan of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter. When the butter melts add garlic and cook for a few minutes until fragrant..

  • Pour in wine and lemon juice. Scrape up the tasty bits on the bottom of the pan and let the piccata sauce reduce by about 1/3.

  • Add capers and remaining tablespoon of butter. When melted and heated through toss in the parsley.

  • Add the scallops back in and toss to coat... serve immediately.

The Piccata sauce is delicious on chicken, veal and sole.

Items available at The Pot Rack to assist in the making of this dish:

Atlas Greek Copper Pepper Mill

Norpro Oil Can

Heritage Steel 12 inch Fry Pan

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