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Seared Scallops with Finger Lime Beurre Blanc

  • Author: Taming of the Spoon
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American


Seared scallops in a rich butter sauce made with finger (caviar) limes, tarragon, white wine, and butter.



For the beurre blanc

  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
  • 16 tablespoons butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes and kept chilled
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh tarragon
  • 4 finger limes, halved and pearls removed
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste

For the scallops

  • Olive oil or grapeseed oil
  • 12 large sea scallops
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste


For the beurre blanc

  1. Boil wine, vinegar, and shallot in a medium saucepan over medium heat until reduced to 3 tablespoons, 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly, about 30 seconds.
  2. Turn on the heat to very, very low (just enough heat to keep the mixture warm but not hot). Place the saucepan over the heat. Add a few cold butter cubes to the reduced shallot-wine mixture and whisk until the butter is almost completely incorporated. Continue adding the butter a few cubes at a time and whisking until the mixture is the consistency of thick heavy cream. Stir in tarragon, half the lime pearls, and salt and pepper to taste. Set sauce aside.

For the scallops

  1. Pat scallops dry on all sides with paper towels. Let scallops sit at room temperature for 5 minutes to allow the surface of the scallops to dry out (this will help the scallops get a nice sear).
  2. Heat a heavy non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Add enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan, 1-2 tablespoons. Swirl the pan so that the bottom is evenly coated with oil. When oil starts to shimmer, add the scallops and sear scallops until underside is golden brown, about 2 minutes. Gently turn scallops over and sear the other side until golden brown and scallops are just cooked through, about 2 minutes more.

To serve

  1. Divide scallops among 4 plates. Spoon sauce over scallops and top each scallop with some of the remaining lime pearls.


  • You may need to sear the scallops in batches depending on the size of your pan. Avoid overcrowding the pan which could cause the scallops to steam rather than brown. You should hear a nice sizzle.
  • Recipe adapted frrom Saveur.

Keywords: seared scallops, finger lime, caviar lime, butter sauce

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