Seared Scallops with Lemon and Bacon

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 30 min
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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3 slices bacon (about 2 ounces), cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1 1/2 pounds sea scallops, muscle removed (see Cook's Note)

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves


  1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and fry the bacon pieces until golden and crisp, about 5 minutes. Reserve the bacon fat in the skillet and transfer the bacon with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
  2. Meanwhile, arrange the scallops so they lay flat and are evenly spaced on a plate. Pat them completely dry with a paper towel. Season the scallops with salt and pepper. 
  3. Cook the scallops, undisturbed, over high heat until they are golden brown on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Flip the scallops and cook for 1 minute more. Turn off the heat, add the lemon zest and juice, parsley and reserved bacon pieces and toss to combine. Divide the scallops among 4 plates or a serving platter and serve immediately.

Cook’s Note

Often scallops are soaked in a phosphate solution to extend their shelf life. This water logs the scallops and makes them difficult to saute. Ask for "dry" scallops -- ones that are chemical free -- since they taste better and are easier to cook.

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