Butter-Basted Scallops with Spring Greens and Snap Peas

You’ve likely seen the restaurant technique of tilting a skillet so that the butter pools at one edge and can be spooned repeatedly over meat or seafood. Culinary Director Justin Chapple uses the technique with seared sea scallops, letting the butter caramelize until browned and nutty. Crisp-tender snap peas, spinach, and dandelion greens finish in the same pan for a truly springy, excellent main dish. Slideshow: More Scallop Recipes 

Total Time:
30 mins


  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided

  • 12 large sea scallops, side muscles removed (about 1 1/4 pounds)

  • Kosher salt

  • Pepper

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed

  • 4 garlic cloves (2 whole and 2 thinly sliced), divided

  • 2 thyme sprigs

  • 1/2 pound sugar snap peas, trimmed

  • 6 ounces leaf spinach, stemmed (1/2 bunch)

  • 5 ounces dandelion greens, stemmed and chopped (1/2 bunch)

  • 1 cup pea shoots

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


  1. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Season scallops to taste with salt and pepper, and add scallops to skillet. Cook until browned on the bottom, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn scallops, and add butter, whole garlic cloves, and thyme sprigs to skillet. Cook, basting scallops with butter, until browned on the other side and just opaque throughout, 2 to 3 more minutes. Transfer to a warm plate, and pour butter on top; keep warm. Wipe out skillet with paper towels.

  2. Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil to the same skillet, and heat over medium-high. Add sugar snap peas and thinly sliced garlic, and cook, stirring occasionally, until peas are crisp-tender and garlic is softened, about 2 minutes. Stir in spinach, dandelion greens, and pea shoots, and cook until barely wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in lemon juice, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to a platter, and top with scallops and butter. Discard thyme sprigs and whole garlic cloves before serving.

    Butter-Basted Scallops with Spring Greens and Snap Peas
    Jennifer Causey
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