Seared scallops with bacon, tarragon and lemon

  • 1 (30g) slice streaky bacon, cut crosswise into thin pieces
  • 8 sea scallops, foot removed, if necessary, and patted dry
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 15g unsalted butter
  • 4 Tbsp dry white vermouth
  • 2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh tarragon leaves
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


1) Cook the bacon in a medium skillet over medium heat until crisp but not dry and drain on a piece of kitchen towel. Leave 1 Tbsp of the drippings in the pan (there probably won't be much more than that, but discard any extra if there is).

2) Season the scallops with salt and pepper, to taste. Increase the heat under the skillet to medium-high, add the butter, and sear the scallops until brown and glossy, about 1 1/2 minutes per side.

3) Transfer the scallops to a plate and set aside. Remove pan from heat and add the vermouth and lemon juice. Now return the skillet to the heat and stir with a wooden spoon to scrape up the brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Bring the sauce to a simmer and cook until reduced by half. Stir in the water.

4) While the sauce reduces, slice the scallops in half vertically. Slip them into the reduced sauce with the tarragon, parsley, and bacon bits and give the skillet a swirl to bring everything together.

5) Taste and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Divide the scallops with their sauce among small plates or Asian soup spoons and serve immediately.

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