Cast-Iron-Pan-Seared Sea Scallops

The secret to achieving a nice seared crust on sea scallops is a big and well-seasoned cast-iron pan. Another tip: Buy dry scallops, not water-injected ones that will never brown.


4 tablespoons melted butter, divided
1 pound large, dry sea scallops, well dried with paper towels
Zest and juice of 2 large limes
2 tablespoons minced fresh tarragon
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon coarse black pepper


1. Heat a dry cast-iron pan either on a stovetop or on a gas grill over high heat for 2 minutes.

2. Lower the heat to medium high, brush the pan with half the melted butter and add the scallops. Do not crowd them or they will steam instead of brown. Do not be in a hurry to turn them. When a crust begins to form at the edges on the undersides, turn and cook the other side. This should take but a minute or two on each side, depending on size.

3. Just before taking the scallops out of the pan, add the remaining butter, lime zest, lime juice and tarragon, and coat the scallops well.

4. Remove the scallops, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and serve immediately.

Categories: Appetizers, Food & Recipes, Seafood