Lemon Buttered Seared Scallops

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 55 min
  • Active: 25 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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1 pound dry sea scallops (12 to 15 scallops), side muscles removed

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 

Freshly ground black pepper 

1 tablespoon olive oil 

2 tablespoons Compound Lemon Butter, recipe follows

1/4 cup dry white wine 

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice 

1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives

Compound Lemon Butter:

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 tablespoon lemon zest plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt 


  1. Place the scallops on a paper towel-lined sheet tray and pat dry. Sprinkle the scallops with salt and pepper.
  2. Preheat a large nonstick saute pan on medium-high heat, then add the oil and heat until shimmering. Add the scallops and sear on one side until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Gently turn the scallops over and add the Lemon Butter, basting the scallops by gently spooning the melting butter over the top, for about 1 minute.
  3. Add the wine and lemon juice and allow the scallops to simmer until they are cooked through, another 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the scallops to a platter and sprinkle with the chives.

Compound Lemon Butter:

  1. Combine the butter, lemon zest, lemon juice and salt in a medium bowl and stir until smooth. Spoon the butter onto the lower third of a piece of plastic wrap. Fold the plastic wrap over the butter and use a spatula to compress the butter into a log about 5 inches long and 2 inches wide. Twist both ends of the plastic wrap to seal the butter inside. Refrigerate the butter until firm, at least 30 minutes, before using.

Cook’s Note

The butter can be stored in a resealable plastic bag in the freezer for up to 2 weeks or in the fridge for about 1 week.

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