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Home > Recipes > Scallops Recipes > Seared Scallops With Jammy Cherry Tomatoes

In this vibrant dish, seared scallops are paired with cherry tomatoes for an easy 25-minute dinner that feels a little bit fancy. The tomatoes are cooked in white wine and butter until they’re falling apart, which means you can make this with any cherry tomatoes, whether you picked them up at the summer farmers’ market or at a snow-covered grocery store. The whole thing is finished with a sprinkle of fresh herbs and lemon zest. Equal parts casual and elegant, this dish is best served straight from the skillet, with a big green salad, a nice loaf of bread and the rest of the wine.


  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ cup thinly sliced shallots (about 2 shallots)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup dry white wine, such as muscadet or sauvignon blanc
  • 1 pound cherry tomatoes, cut in half through the stem (about 3 cups tomatoes)
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 16 large sea scallops (about 1 pound), tough muscle removed
  • 2 tablespoons grape seed oil, plus more as needed
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • Julienned fresh basil and mint, for serving
  • Coarse sea salt, for serving


  1. Step 1

    Heat a large (12-inch) skillet over medium-low and add the butter to melt. Add the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 5 minutes, until tender but not browned. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute, until fragrant.

  2. Step 2

    Add the wine and cook until about half the liquid has evaporated.

  3. Step 3

    Add the tomatoes, ½ teaspoon kosher salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper and cook over medium-heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 to 12 minutes, until the tomatoes have released their juices and almost completely collapsed. Transfer the tomato mixture to a small dish (use a rubber spatula to get every last bit of the sauce!), then carefully wipe out the pan with a damp paper towel.

  4. Step 4

    Pat the scallops dry. Add the grape seed oil to the skillet and turn the heat to medium-high. When the oil is very hot, add half the scallops, spacing them evenly in the pan, and season with kosher salt. Cook without moving for 2 to 3 minutes, until golden brown on the bottom. Flip and cook for 1 more minute. Don’t overcook! Transfer the scallops to a plate and repeat with the remaining scallops, adding more oil if necessary.

  5. Step 5

    Drain any remaining oil and take the skillet off the heat. Return the tomatoes and their juices to the skillet and squeeze in 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Return the scallops to the skillet, nestling them into the tomatoes. Top with the zest of both lemon halves, julienned basil and mint, and a generous sprinkle of coarse sea salt, and serve immediately.

    Recipe courtesy of NY Times