David Scott AllenFish & SeafoodMain CourseProvencal RecipesTaste

Seared Scallops Coquilles Saint-Jacques and Caramelized Endives

This seafood dish so bright and flavourful that I call it sunshine on a plate (see post for step-by-step photos).

Seared scallops are coquilles Saint-Jacques in French. They are not hard to cook, but there are a few culinary keys to achieving a crispy result. Try to find fresh scallops as frozen does not work as well. Drain any excess liquid and place the scallops on a plate with paper towel to absorb extra water. If you have time, put the dish in the fridge to dry the scallops further. When you are ready to cook, it is essential to make sure that your pan reaches a medium-high heat so that the scallops sear in the melted butter. Finally, do not overcook the scallops.

Seared Scallops Coquilles Saint-Jacques

Seared Scallops with Orange Salt with Caramelized Endives

blankDavid Scott Allen
The inspiration for this seared scallops dish comes from a recipe by Lionel Lévy. The following has been minimally adapted.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Course Main Dish
Cuisine French, Provencal
Servings 4 people


  • 2 Oranges preferably organic
  • Fine Sea Salt
  • Sugar
  • 4 large Endives
  • 8 tbsp Unsalted Butter divided
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Freshly Ground Black or White Pepper
  • 12 Dry Sea Scallops preferably diver scallops


Prepare the Orange Salt:

  • The day before, or longer if your humidity is a bit high, finely grate the zest off the oranges and spread on a sheet of waxed paper to dry.
  • Reserve the oranges.
  • After the zest is dry, measure the amount and add a 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt for every 1 teaspoon dried zest. Mix it well and set aside.

Prepare the Endives and the Orange Beurre Blanc:

  • Bring 1 quart of water to a boil and add 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon sugar. Add the whole endives and reduce the heat; simmer the endives for 45 minutes.
  • Drain and set aside to cool.
  • Heat two tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
  • Slice the endives in half lengthwise, and sprinkle the cut sides with salt, pepper, and sugar.
  • Place them cut side down in the melted butter and allow them to cook for 15-20 minutes until nicely caramelized.
  • While the endives are braising, squeeze the juice from the reserved oranges, and strain into a small saucepan.
  • Over medium heat, cook the juice until it has reduced to about 3 tablespoons; it should be thick. Set aside.

Cook the Scallops:

  • Pat scallops dry and remove the tough muscle.
  • Lightly salt and liberally pepper the scallops on both sides.
  • In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat.
  • Sear the scallops until golden on the first side then flip and cook another minute or two on the second side.
  • While they are cooking, reheat the endives and bring the orange syrup to a simmer.
  • Add the remaining 4 tablespoons butter to the orange syrup a bit at a time, whisking to emulsify and create an orange beurre blanc.

Final Presentation:

  • Place some of the beurre blanc in the center of 4 plates, and top with three scallops per plate.
  • Drizzle remaining beurre blanc over the scallops and sprinkle well with the orange salt. I added extra salt around the edge of the plate - perfect for dipping.
  • Divide the endives between 4 side plates.
  • Serve immediately.


Note: the salt loses a lot of flavour with time - don't make more than 1 day in advance!
Keyword Scallops, Seafood Recipes
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David Scott Allen

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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