Scallops taste so rich, it’s hard to believe they contain very little fat. Like most seafood, they are a healthy fast food, cooking in less than 5 minutes. I seared them in a little brown butter and olive oil with a garnish of fried sage leaves. You don’t need much butter or oil, about 2 teaspoons of each, to get a beautiful caramelized sear. The key is to purchase dry-packed scallops. Dry-packed scallops are more expensive but they are worth it because other scallops (referred to as wet scallops) are treated during processing to retain moisture and will steam, not sear.
Seared Scallops in Brown Butter with Fried Sage
Heat a skillet on medium-high heat. Add 1-2 teaspoons of butter and 1-2 teaspoons of olive oil. Combining the butter with olive oil will keep the butter from burning. Once butter begins to turn golden, add 1 pound of dry-packed scallops (be sure to pat any excess moisture from the scallops before adding them to the pan). Brown for about 2 minutes per side, turning when you see a golden brown sear on the scallop.
For the sage leaves, heat skillet on medium-high heat, adding about 1 tablespoon of olive oil to hot pan. Add sage leaves, turning after about 15 seconds. The sage leaves will crisp-up very quickly so be ready to remove them from the pan and place them a paper towel. Sprinkle with a little salt. The sage leaves are so light and crisp, they melt in your mouth. My family has been known to polish off several batches of these as a snack.
Nutrition Note: Scallops are low in fat but they do provide some heart protective omega-3 fatty acids. Scallops are 80% protein with almost 20 grams per 3 ounce portion. Like most seafood, scallops are low in calories at only 30 calories per ounce.