Dorie Greenspan’s Butter Poached Scallops in a Pouch

December 16, 2017
1 Ratings
Photo by Bobbi Lin
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

Cooking in a parchment-paper pouch is a traditional way to quickly infuse flavor into delicate seafood. Here, the flavor is butter and lemon, a classic with almost anything that swims, and the seafood is scallops. The twist is the lemon: It’s salt-preserved, citron confit, a staple in Mediterranean cuisines. You can make and refrigerate the packets up to 6 hours ahead; let them come to room temperature on the counter while you preheat the oven.
Reprinted with permission from Short Stack Editions Vol. 30: Butter, by Dorie Greenspan (shortstackeditions.com). —Dorie Greenspan

What You'll Need
  • Handful of baby spinach
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 teaspoons finely chopped preserved lemon, rind only, rinsed and dried
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, divided
  • 16 sea scallops, preferably all a similar size, patted dry
  • 16 grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 4 tablespoons dry white wine
  1. Preheat the oven to 475°F and place a rack in the center position Cut four 15-inch squares of parchment paper.
  2. Assemble each pouch: Place a few spinach leaves in the center of the paper, season lightly with salt and pepper (but go easy—the lemon is salty), add 1 /2 teaspoon of lemon and scatter with 1 /2 teaspoon of butter cut into bits. Arrange 4 scallops over the butter, top with another 1 /2 teaspoon of lemon and 8 tomato halves; season lightly with salt and pepper. Add 1 tablespoon of wine and finish with 1 tablespoon of butter cut into bits. Pull up the corners of the parchment to encase the ingredients in a hobo sack and tie it with kitchen twine. Place the pouches on a baking sheet.
  3. Cook the pouches for 8 minutes. Place each pouch in a soup bowl. Untie the packets, being careful of the steam, and serve immediately.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Kathy R.
    Kathy R.
  • Jana Everett
    Jana Everett
With the publication her 14th book, Baking with Dorie, New York Times bestselling author Dorie Greenspan marks her thirtieth anniversary as a cookbook author. She has won five James Beard Awards for her cookbooks and journalism and was inducted into the Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America. A columnist for the New York Times Magazine and the author of the xoxoDorie newsletter on Bulletin, Dorie was recently awarded an Order of Agricultural Merit from the French government for her outstanding writing on the foods of that country. She lives in New York City, Westbrook, Connecticut, and Paris. You can find Dorie on Instagram, Facebook, Bulletin and her website,

2 Reviews

Kathy R. February 15, 2019
So delicious and easy. Poaching allows the lovely flavor of the scallops shine through.
Jana E. June 24, 2018
These were great! I couldn't find preserved lemons, so used lemon zest instead. Delicious!