Pan-Seared Scallops with Lemon Butter
and cauliflower gnocchi / spinach salad
We've only featured scallops once in our meal plans, back in 2017. Many members of our community commented that this was their first time making scallops at home, but they loved how easy they are to cook. A sauce made with butter, lemon juice, and capers adds great flavor to the dish. This time around, we're serving the scallops with paleo-friendly cauliflower gnocchi.
Smarts: The keys to a golden brown crust on the scallops are getting them very dry before cooking them and not crowding the pan in which they cook.
- Shallots - 1 clove, diced
- Capers - 1 Tbsp, drained and rinsed
- Sea scallops, medium-sized - 1 lb (sub peeled and deveined shrimp)
- Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp + 1 Tbsp
- Cauliflower gnocchi - 12 oz (sub cauliflower florets)
- Butter - 3 Tbsp
- Thyme, dried - 1/2 tsp
- Lemon juice - 1 Tbsp
- Vinegar, apple cider - 1 1/2 Tbsp
- Mustard, Dijon - 2 tsp
- Oil, olive - 3 Tbsp
- Apples - 2, chopped
- Baby spinach - 8 oz
- Pecan halves - 1/4 cup
- Shallots / Capers - Prep as directed. Store separately. (Can be done up to 5 day ahead)
- Vinaigrette - Whisk together vinegar and mustard. Add olive oil while whisking. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Apples - Chop apples.
- Scallops - Pat scallops with paper towels until very dry. Season on both sides with some salt and pepper.
- Pour vinaigrette into a large serving bowl. Top with spinach, apples, and pecans. Wait to toss until right before serving.
- Heat a large skillet with first part of cooking oil over medium-high heat. Add cauliflower gnocchi (no need to defrost first) to heated oil. Cook gnocchi, stirring frequently, until deep golden brown on the outside and cooked all the way through, 8 to 10 minutes. Season with some salt.
- Transfer gnocchi to a serving bowl and return skillet to heat.
- Add second part of cooking oil and then scallops to heated skillet. Let scallops cook, without moving them, until deep golden brown on one side, 3 to 4 minutes.
- When scallops are golden brown and release easily from the pan, flip them to the other side. Add butter, shallots, thyme, and capers to the pan. As the scallops cook, tilt the pan and use a spoon to scoop and pour the flavorful butter over top of the scallops (this is a chef move that will flavor the scallops and help them to cook evenly). Continue cooking until scallops are cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes more.
- Remove scallops from heat and squeeze lemon juice over top.
- Arrange scallops over cauliflower gnocchi and pour lemon butter over everything.
- Toss salad.
- Serve scallops and cauliflower gnocchi with salad on the side. Enjoy!
Quite easy for a delicious, fancier than normal meal! Next time I’d increase the amount of scallops - one pound was barely enough for 3 servings at our house.0 Helpful
Very good! I think I could put more spinach in the risotto. I loved the baked method, will do this again. There was a lot of butter in the meal, so I might cut that back next time.0 Helpful
Perfection. The scallops were perfect. I subbed fresh English peas and artichoke hearts (bc that’s what I had) instead of spinach. Next time will add more capers.0 Helpful
This was great. We didn't add the second 2T of butter to the risotto, and it was still very rich.0 Helpful
Whoa! I was so excited to make this and it did not disappoint. So good and easy to make. It became a kinda Valentine's dinner at home.0 Helpful