The scallop fishery in Maine seems to be in better shape this winter, due to some smart restrictions and regulations instituted in the past couple of years. Yay! Scallops are one of the most luscious bounties of the sea – a rare (and pricey) treat that is perhaps better appreciated now that they are not as abundant as they once were.

On New Year’s Eve, I made these sautéed scallops (for two), and I plan to serve scallop ceviche as a first course at an upcoming dinner party.

Sautéed Scallops with Buttered Lemon-Scallion Crumbs

I like to sauté scallops (as opposed to broiling them) because I can watch the cooking process carefully and turn them at precisely the right moment. This technique of basting the scallops as they cook is a trick learned from a Cook’s Illustrated cookbook, and I think I’ll adopt it permanently. For a fancy-ish dinner, add broccoli puree and potatoes roasted with parsnips and onions as side dishes.

Makes 2 servings (can be doubled; sauté in two batches)



1½ tablespoons butter

1/3 cup panko crumbs or fresh bread crumbs

1 scallion, finely chopped

½ teaspoon grated lemon zest


12 ounces sea scallops, side hinge removed


Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Melt the butter in a medium skillet. Add crumbs, toss to combine, and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until crumbs are golden brown. Remove from the heat and stir in scallions and zest. (Can be made a few hours ahead. Cover and hold at room temperature.)

If scallops are wet, pat dry between 2 paper towels. Season scallops on all sides with salt and pepper. Heat oil in medium skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add scallops in a single layer and cook without stirring until well browned, about 2 minutes.


Add butter to skillet, turn scallops, and continue to cook until firm and centers are opaque, 30 to 90 seconds. As scallops cook, tilt pan so butter runs to one side and use a large spoon to baste scallops with melted butter.

Transfer scallops to plates or serving platter, add lemon juice to skillet and swirl to mix. Pour butter over scallops, sprinkle generously with crumbs and serve.

Three-Citrus Scallop Ceviche

In ceviche (also spelled seviche), a South American specialty, citrus juices “cook” the raw seafood, turning it from translucent to opaque just as if it were subjected to heat. This is a pure, simple and very delicious version. The primary requirement is using impeccably fresh scallops, and thankfully, we can get them here in Maine.

Makes about 6 appetizer servings

1 pound very fresh sea scallops, side hinges removed


3 tablespoons fresh orange juice

1½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1½ tablespoons fresh lime juice

2 scallions, finely chopped

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 tablespoons chopped cilantro


1 lime, cut into about 6 wedges

Cut scallops into ¼-inch slices and combine in a bowl with the citrus juices and scallions. Cover and refrigerate until the scallops become opaque, at least 2 hours or up to 6 hours, stirring once or twice. Season with salt and pepper and stir in cilantro. Spoon into a serving bowl or serve on individual small plates or in stemmed glasses, garnished with lime wedges.

Brooke Dojny is author or co-author of more than a dozen cookbooks, most recently “Chowderland: Hearty Soups & Stews with Sides and Salads to Match.” She lives on the Blue Hill peninsula, and can be contacted via Facebook at:

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