I love Scallops. I might actually love them a little too much! They are fast, delicious, and perfect for hors d’oeuvres at a dinner party. They’re always delectable after a quick toss in the pan with garlic and white wine, they’re incredible wrapped in bacon, and they’re absolutely heavenly in a fresh creamy béarnaise sauce. A new favourite of mine: Scallops with Brown Butter & Capers!

Similar to a great cut of steak, when it comes to scallops, it’s all about the sear! It’s important to have a piping hot pan and a good quality oil for best results.

I wrote an article on scallops last fall. Not everyone has the luxury of picking up scallops fresh from the docks or the fish trucks (myself included, now that I have left Nova Scotia) – so it’s important to know how to pick quality at the supermarket. If you aren’t too familiar with scallops and you would like to take a look, you can find that article HERE.

This recipe takes about 15 minutes from start to finish. The combination of fresh lemon juice, nutty browned butter, and briny capers is delicious. I have to give a shout-out to my Mother-in-law and my little Sister for both making sure that I have a healthy supply of Pete Luckett’s “Tidal Bay” white wine whenever I decide to make these! Tidal Bay is white wine unique to Nova Scotia, and it is the PERFECT pairing for Seafood.

Scallops With Browned Butter & Capers

Pair with a fresh, acidic white wine – and enjoy with Friends!
Prep Time 15 minutes


  • 8 Jumbo Scallops
  • 1 Lemon
  • 2 TBSP Butter
  • 1.5 TSP Capers
  • 2 TSP Olive Oil Extra Virgin
  • Kosher Salt To Taste
  • Fresh Cracked Peppercorn To Taste


  • Peel the side muscle off of the scallops, and discard.
  • Pat your scallops dry with a paper towel, and season generously with kosher salt and freshly cracked peppercorn.
  • Pour 2 tablespoons of high quality olive oil into a pan over medium-high heat. Wait until you see a small amount of smoke.
  • Place Scallops down in your pan. Since you are using Jumbo Scallops, sear for 3-4 minutes (Smaller scallops would require significantly less time). While searing, do not touch or move the scallops.
  • Carefully flip your scallop, and sear the other side for 1.5 minutes. If your scallop does not lift with ease, let it sear an additional 30 seconds and flip again.
  • Remove scallops from the pan. Carefully pour out your olive oil and any burnt material in the pan. Add butter to your hot, clean pan.
  • Stir butter as it bubbles and froths. Alternate between picking your pan up and letting it rest on the burner. Butter can go from browned to burnt in about 1 second, so it's best to be careful!
  • Once butter is browned, stir in capers and lemon juice. Whisk quickly.
  • Smother your scallops in the sauce. Serve with a great glass of wine.
  • Enjoy!


A quick note on kosher salt and freshly cracked peppercorn. 
A lot of people have different preferences when it comes to salt. I love sea salt, and I love kosher salt! I personally prefer the coarser grain, as I find it adds a ton of flavour. The same goes for freshly ground peppercorn.
However, there’s nothing wrong with using table salt or pre-ground pepper. The pepper may have slightly-less flavour, but it all comes down to preferences. Use what you have on hand. 



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