Lemon Herb Scallops

Searing scallops gives them a crispy exterior and a rich buttery centre. The splurge of saffron adds extra depth to a bright, tangy sauce. You will have about 1/4 cup of the citrus oil left over. It's perfect to drizzle over an omelette, a tomato salad or roasted potatoes, or to warm up and brush on crostini.

Photography by Joe Kim/TC Media

  • Prep time25 minutes
  • Total time25 minutes
  • Portion size2


  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) butter
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) light-tasting olive oil
  • 1 small leek, (white and light green parts only), thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) frozen edamame, thawed
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) pepper
  • 4 large sea scallops, (about 8 oz/ 225 g), patted dry

Lemon Cilantro Oil:

  • 1 cup (250 mL) packed fresh cilantro
  • 1/3 cup (75 mL) light-tasting olive oil
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) grated lemon zest
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) pepper
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) crumbled saffron threads

  • Preparation

    Lemon Cilantro Oil: In blender, blend cilantro, oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper until smooth, about 2 minutes. Stir in saffron. Set aside. (Make-ahead: Refrigerate in airtight container for up to 5 days; bring to room temperature to use.)

    In nonstick skillet, heat half each of the butter and oil over medium-high heat; sautée leek until softened, 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in edamame and half each of the salt and pepper. Remove from pan and keep warm; wipe skillet clean.

    In same skillet, heat remaining butter and oil over medium-high heat until foaming. Sprinkle scallops with remaining salt and pepper; sear all over until browned and centres are opaque, 4 to 6 minutes.

    Divide leek mixture between 2 small plates. Top each with 2 scallops; drizzle each with 2 tsp of the lemon cilantro oil. Serve immediately.

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