David Scott AllenProvencal RecipesStarter CourseTaste

Coquilles Saint-Jacques a French Seafood Classic

Fishing for Coquilles Saint-Jacques or King Scallops occurs far from Provence in France. The Pecten maximus grows in the cool waters of the northeastern Atlantic in Brittany and Normandy, where the annual fishing season runs from October 1st to May 15th (more here).

This recipe for Coquilles Saint-Jacques is a French seafood classic found on restaurant menus throughout France. For maximum culinary impact, serve this dish as I did, the old-fashioned way, in the scallop shells. If you are wondering what to drink with this rich-flavoured dish, I recommend a sauvignon blanc – read my article on Provence Wine Zine.

Coquilles Saint-Jacques Recipe

Coquilles Saint-Jacques

David Scott Allen | Cocoa & Lavender
This recipe was adapted from Saveur Magazine.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Course Starter Course
Cuisine French
Servings 4 people


  • 8 oz (228g) White Button Mushrooms finely minced
  • 6 tbsp Unsalted Butter
  • 3 small shallots minced
  • 2 tbsp Parsley minced
  • 1 tbsp+ leaves Tarragon minced and leaves for garnish
  • Sea Salt to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 3/4 cup (177ml) Dry Vermouth white
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 large sea scallops remove the tough muscle
  • 2 tbsp Flour
  • 1/2 cup (118ml) heavy cream (35%)
  • 2/3 cup (185g) Grated Gruyère cheese
  • a squeeze of Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 4 Scallop Shells or small gratin dishes for serving


  • Heat mushrooms, 4 tablespoons butter, and two-thirds of the shallots in a medium saucepan over medium heat; cook until the mixture forms a loose paste, about 25 minutes.
  • Stir parsley and minced tarragon into mushroom mixture; season with salt and pepper.
  • Divide mixture among 4 cleaned scallop shells or shallow gratin dishes.
  • Bring vermouth, bay leaf, salt, and 3/4 cup water to a boil in a 4-quart saucepan over medium heat.
  • Slice the scallops sliced along the equator (middle). Add scallops to the liquid and poach until barely tender, about 1 minute.
  • Remove scallops from the heat. Place three slices over mushrooms in each of the shells.
  • Add the remaining shallots to the cooking liquid and boil until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 10 minutes; set aside.
  • Heat broiler to high.
  • Heat remaining butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add flour; cook until smooth, about 2 minutes.
  • Strain the reduced cooking liquid into the flour-butter mixture and add cream; cook until thickened, about 8 minutes.
  • Add cheese and lemon juice; season with salt, and pepper and divide the sauce over scallops.
  • Broil until browned on top, about 4-5 minutes; garnish each with a tarragon leaf.
Keyword Appetizer, Cheese, Scallops
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Other Recipes with Scallops:

Seared Scallops Coquilles Saint-Jacques

Saffron Spaghetti with Buttery Scallops

Seared Scallops Coquilles Saint-Jacques and Caramelized Endives

Seared Sea Scallops and Cauliflower Purée

Butternut Squash Soup with Roast Scallops

Seared Scallops (St. Jacques) with Creamy Curried Leeks

Roasted Scallops a Valentine Recipe


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David Scott Allen

David Scott Allen is the author, photographer, and cook behind Cocoa & Lavender, a weekly food blog based in Tucson, Arizona. Passionate about travel, he especially enjoys eating traditional foods and learning local customs, whether in the United States or around the globe.

David's first trip to France took place when he was 14, and he returned as often as possible thereafter. However, it wasn't until his 50th birthday that he finally made it south to Provence. The beauty, history, charm, warmth, cuisine, and - of course - the rosé wines captured his heart. He shares his Provençal recipes here on Perfectly Provence, and his food and wine pairings monthly on the Provence WineZine.

David is a firm believer that sharing a meal with friends around the table is one of life's greatest pleasures. And if it happens to be in Provence, all the better!

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