Scallops with Spinach and Orange-Saffron Sauce


Chef Stéphane Rossillon's fresh take on seafood with spinach stars simply prepared sea scallops and spinach in a light, citrusy sauce with a crunchy sliced almond topping. The sauce and the spinach can be prepared in advance, making this elegant dish perfect for entertaining.


  1. 3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  2. 1 shallot, finely chopped
  3. 1/4 cup dry vermouth
  4. 1/2 cup bottled clam juice
  5. 1/4 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
  6. 3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  7. 1/2 cup heavy cream
  8. Pinch of saffron threads
  9. 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
  10. Kosher salt
  11. Freshly ground pepper
  12. 1 pound spinach, thick stems discarded
  13. 20 large sea scallops
  14. Fleur de sel, for sprinkling
  15. 2 tablespoons chopped roasted almonds, for garnish
  1. In a small saucepan, heat 1 teaspoon of the olive oil. Add the shallot and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the vermouth and cook until reduced to 1 tablespoon, about 5 minutes. Stir in the clam juice, orange zest, orange juice and 1/4 cup of water and simmer until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 10 minutes. Add the cream and saffron and cook over moderately low heat until slightly thickened, 7 to 8 minutes. Whisk in 2 tablespoons of the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, until incorporated. Remove from the heat and season the sauce with salt and pepper; keep warm.
  2. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add the spinach and cook over moderately high heat, tossing, until just wilted, about 2 minutes. Season with salt. Drain thoroughly in a colander and keep warm. Wipe out the skillet.
  3. In the same skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Season the scallops with kosher salt. Add half of the scallops to the skillet and cook over moderately high heat, turning once, until lightly browned and just cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer the scallops to a large plate. Repeat with the remaining butter, olive oil and scallops.
  4. Mound the spinach on plates and surround with the scallops. Sprinkle with fleur de sel and garnish with the almonds. Spoon the sauce around the scallops and serve.

Suggested Pairing

Pair with Champagne or a complex, focused Blanc de Blanc.