Scallops with Cherry-Tarragon Sauce

Scallops with Cherry-Tarragon Sauce

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I love scallops because they are like the Fillet Mignon of the Sea. If properly seared, for just a few minutes, they are tender and succulent. But, overcook them, and you are left with chewy scallops that will disappoint. The combination of fresh Bing cherries and garden fresh French tarragon made a surprisingly sweet and savory pan sauce that came together in less than 15 minutes. Recipe is adapted from Whole Foods, as were the wild-caught scallops and organic cherries being purchased there as well.

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  • pounds wild-caught sea scallops

  • ½

    teaspoon fine sea salt

  • ½

    teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 1

    tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2

    shallots, chopped

  • 1

    generous splash (about ¼ cup) white wine (I used Sauvignon Blanc) or substitute 2 tablespoons rice vinegar

  • ¼

    cup low-sodium chicken stock (omit if using vinegar)

  • ½

    pound cherries (about 2 cups), pitted and quartered

  • 1

    tablespoon fresh chopped tarragon


Pat scallops dry with paper towels. Sprinkle on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat a large, heavy skillet over high heat until very hot. Add oil and heat until very hot. Add half the scallops and sear, turning once, until lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer scallops to a platter and cook remaining scallops; cover and keep warm. Lower heat to medium and add shallots to the skillet. Cook, stirring, until softened, about 2 minutes. Add wine (or rice vinegar) and cherries. Cover skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until cherries are softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in tarragon, then pour cherry sauce over scallops.


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