Gordon Ramsay's Scallop Recipe

It's hard to improve on something as wonderfully simple as pan-seared scallops, says food blogger and photographer Ksenia Prints of At the Immigrant's Table. But a fresh, perky side salad that encapsulates the best of spring just might do the trick! Gordon Ramsay's scallop recipe with a twist involves some perfectly grilled scallops served alongside a fresh spring salad of Boston lettuce, snow peas, and radishes.

In this elegant, healthy dish, perfectly seared, plump scallops rest alongside a perky mix of crispy Boston lettuce, sweet peas, and fresh radishes that bring an extra bite to the proceedings. The resulting salad is then lightly dressed with fruity extra virgin olive oil, fresh lemon zest, and freshly ground black pepper. When the juices of the scallops mix with the leftover salad dressing, you end up with an experience that is pure perfection: tangy, chewy, creamy, and savory, all at the same time.

So next time you need to make a dinner to impress but don't have much more than 20 minutes, reach for our version of Gordon Ramsay's scallop recipe with a twist.

Gather the ingredients for Gordon Ramsay's scallop recipe with a twist

This recipe is so simple, that it needs just a few simple ingredients to work. However, as befitting a seasonal recipe, you really want to make sure every ingredient you purchase is as fresh as possible, which will help all of the flavors to really shine. From the produce aisle or your favorite grocery store or farmer's market, grab some snow peas or sugar snap peas, one head of Boston lettuce (also often called butter lettuce), some radishes (the more variety of colors you can find, the better), and lemon. Olive oil, sea salt, and freshly ground black pepper will complete the dish.

And finally, for the star of the dish, you want to buy 6 to 8 of the nicest, plumpest scallops you can find. Extra-large sea scallops would do especially nicely here. This is the one ingredient that's worth splurging on, as good scallops can really make or break this simple dish, so don't be shy about spending just a little extra for good seafood.

Prepare the ingredients for the salad

First, let's prep the salad. Thinly slice the sugar snap peas. They have a soft shell that can be eaten whole, so there's no need to worry about disassembling them. If you are using snow peas, however, remove the exterior shell and use only the fresh, beautiful green peas inside. They require no cooking and are perfectly sweet straight out of the pod! The shell of fresh snow peas can be a bit tough and stringy to chew, so it's best to discard it.

Thinly slice the radishes. If you managed to find some multicolor radishes, this will result in a thin mix of colorful circles that will bring some serious visual appeal to the plate.

If the leaves of your Boston lettuce are very big, tear them in half. Otherwise, leave them as they are — they make the perfect little boats in which to nestle the other salad ingredients.

Assemble the spring salad

To assemble the salad, simply mix the Boston lettuce with the sliced peas and radishes and season with salt and pepper. If all your Boston lettuce leaves are small, you can actually dress each leaf as if it were an individual salad portion, with a mix of peas and radishes inside each one.

To dress the salad, grate the zest of half a lemon (keeping a little zest in reserve to garnish the scallops at the end) and squeeze the juice of that half lemon over the greens. Drizzle the salad with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, or more to taste, and mix well.

Prepare the scallops for cooking

Bring a large pan to high heat until it is very hot. If your pan is smoking, don't worry – that's perfectly fine. A hot pan ensures that a sear will immediately start to form on the outside of the scallops, leaving the inside as soft as it was in the beginning.

Lay the scallops out on a cutting board or plate and pat them dry with a paper towel. Season each scallop with salt and pepper on one side.

Set the plate aside, but make sure that it's still close to your cooking station. Scallops cook very quickly, so you want to be able to replace them in the pan with as little hesitation and fuss as possible. That way, you can avoid the dreaded rubbery overcooked scallop.

Pan-sear the scallops

When the pan has come up to high heat, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the pan. Add the scallops, one by one, seasoned side down, then sear for 1 to 2 minutes until they are golden brown. Then season the second side of the scallops with salt and pepper. Turn the scallops over to the other side and sear for an additional 1 to 2 minutes.

Squeeze the juice of half a lemon over the scallops and give the pan a good shake to distribute the juice. Then, moving quickly, turn the scallops over onto a plate lined with a paper towel. We will be serving them immediately, but this is still a good chance to collect some of the extra oil and avoid serving up greasy scallops.

Serve pan-seared scallops with fresh spring salad on the side

Divide the salad between 2 serving plates and arrange the scallops around or on top of the salad. Garnish with remaining lemon zest and serve immediately. Congratulations! You have just cooked perfectly pan-seared scallops, and with a refreshing spring salad to boot! And the whole thing took you less than 20 minutes and produced almost no dishes. Isn't that the perfect fancy meal?

Any remaining scallops should be kept separately from the salad, to avoid making them soggy. However, scallops without sauce don't reheat very well, so we don't recommend making any extra. Any extra salad will keep well for a day or two in stored in the fridge.

What did we change?

We took Gordon Ramsay's classic scallop recipe and made a small twist to it! Can you guess what it is? It's hard to improve on a classic, so we didn't mess with Ramsay's scallop cooking technique. With 2 to 4 minutes of cooking and very few steps, there was little need for change here.

However, Gordon Ramsay's original recipe called for a salad made of lamb's lettuce and tart Granny Smith apples. We found this green very hard to find outside of chef's specialty suppliers and we didn't want to give you guys extra work! In our twist, we made the salad a bit more filling, with easier-to-find Boston lettuce and crisp seasonal peas and radishes. And if we dare say so ourselves, we think the result is even better than the original!

Gordon Ramsay's Scallop Recipe
4.9 from 12 ratings
It's hard to improve on something like pan-seared scallops, but a fresh side salad just might do the trick in Gordon Ramsay's scallop recipe with a twist.
Prep Time
10
minutes
Cook Time
4
minutes
Servings
2
servings
two plates of scallops with salad
Total time: 14 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 cup snow peas or sugar snap peas
  • 1 head Boston lettuce
  • 4 radishes
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon, divided
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, or more, divided
  • 6-8 large scallops, cleaned
Directions
  1. First, make the salad. Thinly slice the sugar snap peas. If you are using snow peas, remove the exterior and use the peas inside. Thinly slice the radishes. If the leaves of your Boston lettuce are very big, tear them in half.
  2. Mix the Boston lettuce with the sliced peas and radishes and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Grate the zest of a ½ lemon and squeeze its juice over the salad. Drizzle the salad with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, or more to taste. Mix well.
  4. Bring a large pan to high heat. Lay the scallops out on a cutting board and pat dry with a paper towel. Season scallops with salt and pepper on one side.
  5. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the pan. Add the scallops, one by one, seasoned side down, then fry for 1–2 minutes until golden brown. Season the second side of the scallops with salt and pepper, then turn the scallops over to the other side and fry for an additional 1-2 minutes. Squeeze the juice of a ½ lemon over the scallops and give the pan a good shake. Turn the scallops over onto a plate lined with a paper towel.
  6. Divide the salad between 2 serving plates and arrange the scallops around or on the salad. Garnish with remaining lemon zest and serve immediately.
  7. Any remaining scallops should be kept separately from the salad, to avoid making it soggy. However, scallops without sauce don't reheat very well, so we don't recommend making any extra. Extra salad will keep for a day or two.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 381
Total Fat 28.1 g
Saturated Fat 4.0 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 33.6 mg
Total Carbohydrates 14.2 g
Dietary Fiber 3.6 g
Total Sugars 3.9 g
Sodium 817.5 mg
Protein 19.9 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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