Chic Eats: Seared Scallop BLT PDF Print E-mail
Written by VendiRei Jones   
Sunday, 30 May 2010 11:11

Chic Eats: Seared Scallop BLT
Celebrate a culinary hero at your next dinner party. This week our Chic Chef salutes the sea scallop with a Seared Scallop BLT drizzled with a Lemon Truffle Emulsion.

While brainstorming for this article, I briefly considered writing about a person who inspired and still inspires me in the kitchen. Among a multitude of others, I considered Alice Waters (Chez Panisse) for being at the forefront of the farm-to-table movement, Thomas Keller (The French Laundry, Per Se, Bouchon) whose name is synonymous with culinary greatness, and my mother for nurturing my early interest in cooking even after an incendiary attempt to make fried ice cream. There were so many to choose from for many different reasons, so in the end I chose to write about an ingredient hero of mine: sea scallops.


Although there are a number of different species, scallops are usually classified into two general groups: bay scallops (which are very small — about one half inch in diameter) and sea scallops (which can reach diameters of one to two inches). While bay scallops are more tender, they often are more expensive because of a smaller supply. Both types are naturally sweet and briny and pair well with a number of different accompaniments. When buying sea scallops, look for ones that are pale pink to pale beige, avoiding stark white scallops (a sign of water-injection). The scallops should also have a fresh, sweet smell.


If I could eat scallops every day, I would. I will admit I haven't ventured into bay scallop territory that often because I am enamored with sea scallops. My preferred method of preparation is to simply sear them in a very hot pan until they are golden brown and then finish the cooking process in a very hot oven.


Like most seafood, scallops pair well with an acid. They can be finished with a simple squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice, a citrus beurre blanc, or drizzled with a vinaigrette like the Lemon Truffle Emulsion featured in this week's recipe. Look for early season heirloom tomatoes in your local farmer's market or substitute halved cherry tomatoes. The dish is excellent paired with a Sancerre, from the sauvignon blanc grape, or a Belgian white beer.


Seared Scallop BLT


Yield: 4 servings



  • 8 wild-caught U30 scallops
  • Canola oil, for searing
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup large-dice bacon
  • 2 cups lightly packed spring mix lettuce
  • 2-3 medium heirloom tomatoes, cut into wedges



  • Pre-heat your oven to 420 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Render bacon in a small saucepan over low heat until crisp. Drain and reserve bacon.
  • Heat a medium skillet over moderately high heat. Add only enough oil to create a thin layer in the pan.
  • Pat the scallops dry on a kitchen towel. Season both sides with salt and pepper.
  • When the oil shimmers, add the scallops to the pan a few at a time so as not to overcrowd the pan. Sear one minute per side or until golden brown. (For added flavor, you can use the rendered fat from the bacon to sear the scallops.)
  • Transfer scallops to the oven to finish cooking. Scallops are done when slightly firm to the touch and just barely opaque in the center.
  • To serve, place 1/2 cup spring mix on a small plate. Place two scallops atop spring mix and sprinkle with rendered bacon.
  • Place tomato wedges around and drizzle scallops and spring mix with the Lemon Truffle Emulsion.


Lemon Truffle Emulsion



  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tablespoon sugar
  • 4 ounces white truffle oil
  • 2 ounces canola oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  • In a blender, combine lemon juice, mustard and sugar and blend until smooth.
  • With blender running, slowly drizzle in both oils.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Serve room temperature. (May be made up to one week ahead and refrigerated. Let come to room temperature before serving.)

Photo courtesy of VendiRei Jones

VendiRei Jones -

VendiRei Jones is the chef/owner of Torta, a licensed home bakery specializing in sweet and savory tarts. E-mail her at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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Last Updated on Sunday, 30 May 2010 17:33



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