Bay Scallops in Wood Sorrel Butter Sauce


This sauce, which is akin to beurre blanc, contains just enough butter to make it rich but remains light enough to accommodate lemony wood sorrel. Substitution: Try sheep sorrel or cultivated sorrel. You also could use basil; the dish will taste completely different but be delicious nonetheless.Plus: More Seafood Recipes and Tips



  • 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons

  • 1 medium shallot, minced

  • Salt

  • 1/2 cup Champagne vinegar

  • 1/4 cup heavy cream

  • Cayenne pepper

  • 1 pound bay scallops, membrane removed

  • 2 medium tomatoes—peeled, seeded and cut into 1/3 -inch dice

  • 1/2 cup tightly packed wood sorrel leaves, finely shredded


  1. In a large nonreactive skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter over moderate heat. Add the shallot, season with salt and cook, stirring, until just beginning to brown, about 1 minute. Add the vinegar and cook, shaking the skillet, until reduced to about 1 tablespoon. Add the cream and bring just to a boil. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter, 1 piece at a time, swirling the pan to incorporate; the sauce will be quite thick. Season with salt and cayenne.

  2. Add the scallops and tomatoes and cook, stirring constantly, until the scallops are just opaque, about 3 minutes. Stir in three-quarters of the sorrel and cook for 30 seconds. Transfer to a platter, garnish with the remaining sorrel and serve immediately.

Suggested Pairing

Pair with an Albalonga, a German grape that is a cross between Riesling and Sylvaner. Wildly aromatic, this wine is sweet enough to match the scallops and temper the cayenne, and acid enough to counter the buttery sauce.

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