The Inside Story from Italian Wine Merchants

Sautéed Day Boat Scallops with a Buerre Blanc Sauce

Posted on | May 21, 2015 | Written by David Bertot | No Comments

The author with his dinner

The author with his dinner

Some of my most cherished childhood memories involve a warm, clear ocean, spending favorite weekends in the Florida Keys diving and spearfishing with friends and family. There is nothing better than a big family dinner in the Keys using fish and lobster you caught yourself that morning. My personal favorite has to be a dinner featuring hogfish snapper. This fish has a delicate, flaky white flesh with a unique, almost lobster-like flavor. It’s impossible to find up north—living in New York City, I would do terrible things to get my hands on high quality, fresh hogfish snapper.

When I moved up to New York I quickly realized how much I missed my fresh Florida fish and shellfish. Then I discovered the fishmongers at the farmers’ market. My favorite question to ask them is “When were these scallops harvested?” The answer is consistently perfect: yesterday. The Union Square Green Market has several incredible purveyors; one of my favorites is Pura Vida Fisheries who offers fresh scallops, oysters, tuna, striped bass, swordfish, and black sea bass depending on seasonality and the fishermen’s luck. The farmers’ market folks catch the seafood themselves and simply bring it to market the very next day. This brings me to this simple, elegant scallop recipe using day boat scallops.

Sautéed Day Boat Scallops with a Buerre Blanc Sauce


One pound fresh day boat scallops, from Suffolk County Long Island

One shallot, minced

Butter, 3 tablespoons

Thyme, 3 sprigs


Salt and Pepper


In 2 batches, sauté scallops in a little butter over medium high heat for 45 to 60 seconds each side. Set aside to rest. Lower heat to medium low.

Deglaze pan with one cup neutral white wine (Champagne also works nicely).

Add half cup minced shallots, and thyme.

Reduce to half cup stirring occasionally (about 15 minutes). Turn off heat.

Whisk in cold butter one tablespoon at a time.

Serve immediately over scallops.

For the wine pairing, I would go with a balanced, complex white with nice acidity to complement the butter, but not overpower the delicate fresh scallop flavor. The Querciabella Batar 2006 would work incredibly well, and Bonneau du Martray Corton-Charlemagne 2012 would be equally fabulous.


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