David Scott AllenFish & SeafoodMain CourseProvencal RecipesTaste

Seared Scallops in Blood Orange Sauce

I was given six small, extremely juicy blood oranges by my friendly farmers, Eunice and Larry (Larry’s Veggies), right at the end of blood orange season. She said, “I know you will do something wonderful with them.”

Weeks earlier, friends Susan and Towny had sent me a recipe for scallops with a blood orange gastrique and a fennel salad. I liked it very much when I made it, but I wanted more blood orange flavour with the scallops. As with most scallop dishes, cooking seafood takes no time at all. I was surprised by the intense ruby-red colour of the beurre blanc sauce. Still, the combination paired beautifully with L’Exclus d’Alary Blanc 2017 Clairette Blanche from Domaine Alary in the Southern Rhône. Read about the pairing here.

Scallops in Blood Orange Sauce

Seared Scallops with Blood Orange Beurre Rouge

David Scott Allen | Cocoa & Lavender
These succulent scallops pair exquisitely with the tart citrus flavour of blood orange. You can quickly whip this dish up at home that will fool your dinner guests into thinking you're a 5-star chef. Then, pair it with a buttery, full-bodied white wine for an incredible meal!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course, Main Dish
Cuisine French
Servings 2 people


  • 8 Sea Scallops
  • 3/4 cup Blood Orange Juice* 2-3 large oranges
  • 1 Shallot peeled and halved
  • Salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp Flour
  • 2 tbsp Unsalted Butter softened
  • 4 tbsp Unsalted Butter chilled
  • chives snipped, for garnish


  • Pat scallops dry and place on a paper towel-lined plate. Let them sit uncovered in the refrigerator while you prepare the sauce. This will allow them to dry out a bit.
  • Place the orange juice, shallot and a good pinch of salt together in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Let boil for 10 minutes or so until the liquid has reduced to about 2-3 tablespoons; it should be syrupy. Strain the juice into a clean pan and set aside, covered.**
  • Season the scallops on both sides with salt and pepper. Dredge them in the flour.
  • In a heavy skillet set on medium-high heat; when hot, add the softened butter. When the butter stops foaming, add the scallops and cook until nicely browned on the bottom, about 2-3 minutes.
  • While the first side is browning, reheat the blood orange reduction over medium heat. Flip the scallops.
  • Whisk the chilled butter into the blood orange reduction, one tablespoon at a time. Divide among two plates.
  • Place four scallops on each plate of sauce, and serve immediately.


*If you cannot find blood oranges, you can get close to the flavour by using regular oranges (juice) with a drop of orange flower water and a teaspoon of honey mixed in. You won’t have the gorgeous red colour – just another beautiful colour, instead.
**You can use regular oranges/orange juice but the flavour is very different.
Keyword Blood Orange, Citrus, Scallops
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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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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