Sautéed Scallops With Crushed Peppercorns

Sautéed Scallops With Crushed Peppercorns

Sweet, meaty sea scallops are best in winter. Buy “dry-packed” fresh scallops — anything else has been doused in preservatives. This quick-cooking dish gets a boost from three types of peppercorns: green and black (both true pepper), and rose (not really pepper — they are the fruit of a different plant — but peppery nonetheless, and pretty, too). Crush the peppercorns in a mortar or grind very coarsely in a spice mill.
  • Total:
  • Serves: 4 persons



  1. Step 1

    Place scallops on baking sheet or large plate and season lightly on both sides with salt. Mix together crushed black, green and rose peppercorns and sprinkle liberally over scallops on both sides.
  2. Step 2

    Put oil in a skillet large enough to hold all scallops without crowding (or use two skillets or work in batches) over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, add scallops in one layer.
  3. Step 3

    Let scallops brown on one side, about 3 to 4 minutes. (Don’t rush or they will stick to pan and won’t brown properly.) Add butter and sherry, turn scallops and sear until cooked through, about 2 minutes more. Remove scallops to a serving platter and keep warm.
  4. Step 4

    Finish the sauce: Leaving skillet over medium-high heat, add crème fraîche. Simmer until slightly thickened, 2 minutes, then taste for salt.
  5. Step 5

    Spoon sauce over scallops and sprinkle with lime zest, lemon zest and mint. Garnish with a few whole rose peppercorns.