Pan-Seared Scallops with Lemon Butter Sauce
and arugula salad
It's easier than you might think to make restaurant-worthy scallops at home. To get a golden brown crust on the outside, pat the scallops dry before cooking and let them brown in a hot pan. A finish of melted butter and a fall-inspired salad round out this elevated meal.
Smarts: Peeled and deveined shrimp cook in about the same amount of time, so feel free to use those as a substitute for scallops.
- Shallots - 1 clove , sliced
- Capers - 1 Tbsp , drained and rinsed
- Sea scallops, medium-sized - 1 lb (sub peeled and deveined shrimp)
- Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
- Butter - 3 Tbsp
- Thyme, fresh - 4 sprigs
- Lemon juice - 2 tsp
- Sweet potatoes - 1 lb , cubed
- Garlic - 1 clove , chopped
- Vinegar, apple cider - 1 1/2 Tbsp
- Mustard, Dijon - 2 tsp
- Honey - 2 tsp
- Oil, olive - 3 Tbsp
- Apples, any tart variety - 1 , sliced
- Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
- Arugula - 5 oz
- Walnuts - 1/3 cup
Sweet potatoes / Shallots - (If prepping right before cooking, get oven heating before continuing with prep.) Cube potatoes - you can peel them or leave the peels on. Store separately. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
Make vinaigrette - Chop garlic. Whisk together garlic, vinegar, mustard and honey. Add olive oil while whisking. (Can be done up to 4 days ahead)
Apples - Slice apples.
Capers - Drain and rinse.
Heat oven to 400F / 204C degrees.
Toss sweet potatoes with cooking oil (portion for the salad) and some salt. Spread out onto your darkest colored sheet pan for best browning (or line a lighter sheet pan with parchment paper) and arrange into one even layer. Roast for 15 minutes and then bump temperature up to 475F / 246C. Shake pan and roast for another 10 to 12 minutes at higher temperature, until golden.
Combine sweet potatoes, apples, arugula and walnuts in a mixing bowl.
Pat sea scallops with paper towels until very dry. Season on both sides with some salt and pepper.
Heat a skillet with cooking oil (portion for the scallops) over medium-high heat. Add scallops and cook, without moving them around, until deep golden brown on one side, about 3 minutes.
When scallops are deep golden brown on one side and release easily from the pan, flip them to the other side and add butter, shallots, thyme sprigs and capers. Spoon melted butter over scallops until the scallops are cooked through, about 3 minutes more.
Remove from heat and squeeze lemon juice over top.
Toss salad with vinaigrette.
Serve scallops with butter spooned over top. Enjoy with salad on the side.