Pan-Seared Sea Scallops with Gremolata

Grilled Scallops

As a kid, scallops were one of my least favorite meals (sorry mom)! I remember them dry and overcooked. The secret to a delicious scallop is a perfect sear and it only takes 4-5 minutes. The goal is a caramelized outside crust and a creamy, sweet center.

I embellished my gremolata sauce, which is traditionally made with parsley, garlic and lemon zest. Feel free to add fresh herbs or other citrus fruit. It’s a great addition to many dishes, soups and makes a bright, flavorful sauce.


  • Zest of a lemon (just the outer yellow peel)
  • 1 small shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Combine the lemon zest, shallot, garlic, salt and pepper, olive oil, parsley, cilantro and lemon juice in a blender and puree until smooth.

Pan-Seared Scallops

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (or 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter or 1 tablespoon of each)
  • 1 pound of large sea scallops, (remove the small muscle from the side of the scallop)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Rinse the scallops with cold water and pat dry really well. Lightly coat the scallops with olive oil, salt and pepper, on both sides. Heat a saute pan or grill pan over medium-high heat, and add the olive oil and/or butter. When the pan is really hot, add the scallops (gently) and sear on both sides, about 2-3 minutes per side. The scallops will develop a nice crust on the outside but remain translucent in the middle. Remove the scallops to a plate and spoon the gremolata over the scallops. Add a sprinkle of lemon zest or a squeeze of lemon juice. Serves 4.


  1. I love scallops and I can not wait to make this! And it will make an easy and delicious meal for my dad who know does all the cooking for my mom! Thanks for sharing.

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. Maris Feinstein

    This one is on my list for this weekend!! Looks so good with the gremolata — great idea to add cilantro– my favorite.

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