Seared scallops with corn and tarragon is an easy dish to make at home, while also being a delightfully celebratory summertime dish.
- 6–8 large sea scallops
- 4 ounces pancetta, cubed
- 2 ears of corn kernels shaved from the cob, about 2 cups
- 1 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1/4 cup white wine, crisp and clean variety
- 3/4+1/4 cup 2% milk
- 2 tablespoons fresh tarragon
- 1 small zucchini, sliced thin
- Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
- Pinch of Maldon salt, optional
- Set scallops on a plate of paper towel. Remove foot or side muscle.
- Set a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Add pancetta and cook until fat is rendered and cubes are crisp, about 5-8 minutes. Stir often and lower heat if necessary. Use a slotted spoon to transfer pancetta to a plate lined with paper towels.
- While pancetta cooks, prep the corn, zucchini and tarragon.
- Set the sauté pan back over medium heat and add the corn kernels. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and cook about 2 minutes. Stir often.
- Add butter to the corn and melt, then sprinkle flour into the pan. Cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring continuously, then slowly pour in the wine. Mixture will become very thick. Slowly whisk in 3/4 cups of milk, then simmer until sauce is thickened.
- Stir in the tarragon, zucchini and cooked pancetta. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then lower heat to very low while you sear the scallops.
- To cook the scallops, season with salt and pepper. Warm 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat.
- Once oil is hot, add the scallops. To get a good sear, make sure you hear the oil sizzle aggressively. Cook until scallop has a golden brown crust, then flip and sear the second side. For scallops that are 1-2” thick, this should only take about 2-3 minutes per side. You want to retain a slightly translucent band around the center to indicate they are not cooked all the way through.
- As your scallops finish, check the sauce. If it’s too thick, stir in a little more milk. Scoop the sauce onto plates or shallow bowls. Arrange scallops on top, then finish with a few leftover leaves of tarragon and a sprinkle of Maldon or kosher salt.
For an entree portion, 3 or 4 large sea scallops per person is nice. If you want to serve this as an appetizer, 1 or 2 large scallops is perfect.
Keywords: How to cook scallops, easy scallop recipes, scallops, seared scallops, summer corn