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Recipe: Pan-Seared Scallop Scampi

Scallops are a new venture for both my husband and I. He didn’t care much for scallops for as long as I knew him. I didn’t grow up eating them, and several years ago, I had scallops in a restaurant and decided they were ‘nah.’

Last week, we went to a Legal Sea Foods and I ordered their Cioppino dish; lobster, scallops, shrimp, calamari, littlenecks, mussels and scrod in a light tomato broth. Quite an adventure. And I loved the scallops!

I always tell my clients to continue to try new foods. I tell my friends who ask about feeding their picky eaters to continue to offer foods their kids previously rejected. Taste preferences change over time. There are many ways to prepare a food, and the way you had it before may not have been the best. They may have been too bland, over-spiced, overcooked, undercooked, too hot, too cold, etc. Sometimes, we dislike foods because they remind us of certain people or memories that don’t make us happy, and if that’s your case, you can work closely with a coach to re-introduce the food.  Just because you didn’t like something in the past, it doesn’t mean it’s a done deal. I forgot to listen to my own advice when I judged scallops way back.

A friend of mine said her taste preference is changing with time; that it’s becoming more like adults. I asked her what she means by that, and she said she’s more into vegetables now than before.

Did your taste preferences change with time? Is there a food you don’t like now that you might re-consider?


Low FODMAPs Diet Modification

If you’re following a low FODMAPs diet for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), omit the garlic. You can substitute with 1/2 tsp chopped fresh ginger, but that would change the flavor.

Scallop Scampi Recipe

This is a 30-minute upscale recipe! For starch, I suggest you serve it with brown rice (instant will save you time), wild rice, whole grain couscous, bulgur pilaf, or quinoa. For vegetables, the options are unlimited. I made this once with steamed carrots and Brussels sprouts, and another time with broccoli. Or you can try this roasted fall vegetables recipe.

Don’t mess with the scallops! Let them sit on your iron skillet to brown. Stay close though. Overcooked scallops don’t taste good!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Recipe: Scallop Scampi: Light on Fat, Loaded with Flavor
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Main Dish
Serves: 4
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 lbs scallops
  • ¼ c olive oil
  • ¼ freshly squeezed lemon juice, about 1 small lemon juice of one lemon
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • ½ tbsp finely chopped chives
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  1. Heat the butter in a saute pan, preferably a cast iron skillet. Meanwhile, pat the scallops dry with a paper towel.
  2. Place scallops on one side after the butter melts (before it melts). Leave them to brown, approximately for 5 minutes. Turn them over to brown on the other side for 3 to 5 minutes. Don't interfere with the scallops; leave them alone to brown.
  3. Remove from the pan and place in a shallow bowl for serving.
  4. Remove any scallop charred remnants from the pan in any.
  5. Place remaining ingredients in the same pan and saute for 1 minute until the garlic turns gold.
  6. Pour over the scallop and serve immediately.
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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Nader April 14, 2010, 11:18 am

    I definitely do not like scallops in general. I usually wind up eating them at restaurants and they never come out good.

    So when Nour went out and bought some, I figured we should try to do something interesting with them. Viola!

  • coco April 15, 2010, 1:15 pm

    thanks for stopping by my blog so I can find yours! Glad to find another DC area blogger! 🙂
    I love scallops, this meal looks delish~~~

  • Toxic Delirium December 14, 2013, 11:26 pm

    I tried this recipe, but substituted coconut oil for the butter and olive oil. I also added about a 1/2 cup of white wine in step 5. Everything else I did as instructed. The scallops didn’t brown as well with the coconut oil, but after reducing the extra liquid from the wine, the flavor and color turned out wonderful! Thanks for giving me a good start!

    • Nour Zibdeh January 6, 2014, 9:40 am

      I’m glad you enjoyed it! I always adjust recipes, happy that you made it your own! Thanks for stopping by.