Scallops with vanilla brown butter


Of all the seafood goodness, for me, scallops are the gems of the sea.

You may notice my use of “gems” a lot recently, but since it found it’s way to the title of the cookbook, it tends to stick everywhere.

If it doesn’t pass on it’s own soon, I promise to seek therapy.

In the meanwhile let’s talk more of scallops. I was planning on writing something close to a manifesto on them, but after few nights of working longer than I should, my natural clumsy nature has reached its peak, meaning I nearly dropped the laptop twice and almost spilled tea on it, so perhaps it’s wiser to keep it brief and call it a day (some days we just aren’t meant to get out of bed).

Coming back to scallops, once again, they are surely an item to please all or at least I am yet to meet someone who does not enjoy them. Sure, they do cost a bit (unless you live in paradise), but for the very same reason they are perfect for all the coming occasions. I don’t probably need to say that in the countdown to Christmas I’ll be posting holiday essentials, starting with this festive entree.

These beauties have enough weight to leave one satisfied even if served plain of the grill, but that wouldn’t be very festive now, would it?

But at the same time, on Christmas and around, no one wants to slave for hours in the kitchen, but have an impressive dish nevertheless.

So with a bit of vanilla brown butter (don’t raise your eyebrows please, vanilla and seafood were matched in heaven) and pistachios for texture, a simple but divine starter awaits. More scallops can always be added to the dish and if it really feels on the light side a couple of tablespoons of parsnip or sunchoke puree will do it.

If your thinking of adding more ingredients, do when cooking and serving scallops any additions should not by any means overwhelm the delicate and delicious nature of scallops themselves; hence less is more rule comes to play.

 Overall, this is a very easy and uncomplicated way to kick off a dinner party with high notes!

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Scallops with vanilla brown butter
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Fancy, but but quickly put together scallop dish to kick off a festive evening.
Recipe type: Appetizer
Serves: 4
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped out
  • pinch of salt
  • black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 12 scallops
  • 1-2 tablespoons cilantro
  • 4 tablespoons chopped pistachios
  1. In a pan on medium heat, dry toast the pistachios for about 3 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Heat the butter in a pan with vanilla seeds and cook till the milk solids turn brown and release a nutty aroma, it will take about 3-5 minutes.
  3. Pour into a jug and set aside.
  4. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a pan and cook the scallops for a 1-2 minutes on each side (depending on the size).
  5. Pour over vanilla brown butter and toss around with scallops, take off the heat.
  6. Arrange scallops on the plates spoon over brown butter and sprinkle with pistachios and cilantro. Serve immediately.

10 thoughts on “Scallops with vanilla brown butter

  1. I do totally agree with you: scallops are the shining stars of seafood.
    The way you prepared them, with the delicate flavor of Vanilla is delightful.
    Can’t wait to try them!

  2. Hi There,
    This post is looking so beautiful ! Loved your presentation style, really artful and making it more appetizing. Thanks for sharing awesome posts!
    I enjoyed browsing through your other wonderful recipes. It was a real delight to see and learn so much from your each and every post. Hope to see more of your creative endeavors in the New Year. Have a wonderful Holiday Season and stay Warm !
    Thanks & Regards, Sonia

  3. What an elegant dish! I’ve seen lobster with vanilla, but I think scallops are even better. Gorgeous presentation as always!!!

    • I have to try lobster and vanilla, it should be fantastic. Too bad lobsters here are really hard to come by…

  4. These look so pretty and yes, what a great way to begin a Christmas meal. I love how you’ve presented them in the shells and that sauce sounds very intriguing xx

  5. Scallops are among my favourite sea creatures. Gem is the perfect word. Your recipe sounds fantastic. Beautiful photographs, as usually.

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