Scallop and Apple Tartare

This quick and easy appetizer pairs the sweetness of raw sea scallops with tart Granny Smith apple and crunchy celery.

Scallop and Apple Tartare
Total Time:
15 mins

The best scallops are often served barely cooked or not cooked at all. When served raw, they are both subtly sweet and buttery — qualities that are nicely complemented here by the finely chopped  crisp, tart Granny Smith apple. The sliced shallot and celery add a satisfying, savory crunch, and the celery leaves add herbaceousness. A generous dose of lemon juice ties it all together. Be sure to let this seafood tartare sit for a few minutes to allow the flavors to meld before serving on toast points, crackers, or red and green endive spears as an appetizer or as part of an epic seafood tower

Because the scallop is uncooked, it’s especially important to seek out fresh, high-quality diver scallops that are labeled “dry packed.” “Wet packed” scallops are shucked and immediately submerged into a water solution, often containing a preservative to extend the scallop’s shelf life. The scallops absorb the solution and plump up, giving them a watery flavor and tougher texture. (In cooked scallop recipes, wet packed scallops are also more difficult to get a nice golden brown sear on due to the extra moisture.) Dry packed scallops, on the other hand, are not submerged in liquid, so they typically have a cleaner and more pure flavor. Diver scallops, often more expensive, are harvested by hand, while sea scallops are most commonly harvested by trawling boats. These boats drag nets and chains across the ocean floor and can cause environmental damage. 

When processing the scallops, be sure to pat them dry and pull off the crescent-shaped abductor muscle on the side. This flap is tough and chewy and should be discarded prior to chopping.


  • 8 ounces fresh sea scallops (preferably diver scallops) 

  • 1/3 cup finely chopped unpeeled Granny Smith apple (from 1 medium [8-ounce] apple)

  • 1 large (2-ounce) shallot, very thinly sliced lengthwise

  • 1 medium celery stalk, finely chopped (about 1/4 cup)

  • 1/4 cup celery leaves (from 4 celery stalks)

  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • Kosher salt, to taste

  • Toasts, crackers, or endive spears, for serving


  1. Rinse scallops; pat dry. Remove the muscle from the side of each scallop, and discard. Cut scallops into 1/4-inch cubes.

  2. Stir together scallops, apple, shallot, celery, celery leaves, lemon juice, and oil in a medium bowl. Season with salt to taste. Serve with toasts, crackers, or endive spears.

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