Recipe: Spicy Seared Scallops

These scallops are perfect cottage-fare. Light, easy to prepare, few ingredients and oh-so-tasty. And you can make them in massive quantities, if you need to serve an army of cottagers.


  • 1/8 cup dry white wine
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon dried red chilis – crushed
  • 3 or 4 cloves of roasted garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (plus more for cooking)
  • juice of a half a lemon
  • zest of a half a lemon, very finely minced
  • 8 large scallops (to serve two as an appetizer)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/8 cup minced vidalia onion
  • 2 cups baby spinach


  1. Combine wine, salt, chilis, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and zest in a bowl large enough to hold the scallops with room to spare.
  2. Add scallops and marinate in the fridge for about two hours (go swimming, have a nap, play some cards, have a drink).
  3. Remove scallops from marinade and set aside. Heat marinade in a small sauce pan to boiling and reduce to about half of original volume. Add butter, the parsley and vidalia onion to marinade and keep warm until scallops are cooked.
  4. Heat a cast iron skillet (or very heavy-bottomed skillet) on medium-high and add about a tablespoon olive oil. Allow oil to heat up then add scallops. If they don’t start to sizzle immediately, turn up the heat. Pan fry on both sides until caramelized (a few minutes on each side).


These scallops could be grilled on the barbeque, but I find I have more control over the heat in a cast iron pan. Just be careful if you do grill them – don’t let them slip through onto the flames!

Recipe Origin:

Based on a recipe from the book The Grill – The Art of Gourmet Grilling” (that I can’t find anywhere to reference it online)