Lemon Garlic Scallops with Polenta

December 21, 2022
2 Ratings
Photo by Anna Chwistek | Serving Dumplings
  • Prep time 5 minutes
  • Cook time 25 minutes
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

Lemon garlic scallops with polenta. A straightforward funky recipe made with pan-seared scallops, served with buttery polenta, then topped with a tasty lemon sauce flavored with briny capers and a touch of honey. It’s utterly delicious, especially when topped with toasted hazelnuts and dill. Serve over polenta for a flavor-packed dinner or with some crusty bread for an impressive appetizer at your next dinner party. A fuss-free meal with the most indulgent result. —Anna Chwistek | Serving Dumplings

What You'll Need
  • Lemon Garlic Scallops
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 pound scallops
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 shallot, finely minced
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons chopped dill
  • lemon zest
  • 4 tablespoons chopped toasted hazelnuts
  • Polenta
  • 4 ounces instant polenta
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 1/4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon each: salt and black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons grated Parmesan
  1. Get all the prep done before you start cooking: roughly chop the hazelnuts, mince the garlic, finely mince the shallot and chop the dill.
  2. Remove the side muscles from the scallops, if needed. Pat them dry with a paper towel and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Start with making the polenta. In a saucepan, bring chicken broth and milk to a simmer. Slowly whisk in the polenta, salt and pepper. Stir continuously, about 2 minutes, over low heat. Turn off the heat. Stir in the grated Parmesan and butter. Cover and set aside. If the polenta thickens too much, thin with some additional milk or water.
  4. Heat the oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a skillet over medium. Place the scallops in a single layer. The first scallop should sizzle, if it doesn't, wait a few seconds to let the skillet heat before adding the rest of the scallops. Sear the scallops undisturbed for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown. Turn the scallops over. Cook undisturbed for 1 minute. The scallops should feel firm to the touch, but still slightly soft. Do not overcook the scallops, they will become tough and chewy. Remove from skillet.
  5. Reduce heat to low, add garlic and shallot, cook until soft and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Stir in lemon juice, capers, honey and the remaining butter. Add chicken broth, stir with a wooden spoon to dissolve the brown bits on the bottom of the skillet, cook for 2 minutes. Pour in cream and season with pepper. Bring to a boil, let simmer for 3 minutes.
  6. Return scallops to the skillet and simmer for 30 seconds. Taste and adjust salt. Top with dill, lemon zest and hazelnuts.
  7. Serve immediately! Enjoy!

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1 Review

panania February 16, 2023
This was fantastic; thank you. The polenta was awesome. I used the leftover polenta the next day with fried eggs; also great! The sauce was a little too loose, but that was likely my fault (I'm trying it again this weekend). And great call on having your prep done up front, that helped a lot. Thank you again.