As far as I'm concerned, a simple gratin is the most delicious way to cook fresh scallops. The only real way to screw this recipe up would be to use the wrong scallops. And by wrong, I mean any scallops that have been soaked in a preservative brine. These are easy to identify, as they're usually sitting in a pool of milky liquid. What you want are usually sold as wild 'day-boat,' 'diver,' or 'dry-pack' scallops. They are really expensive, and worth every penny. Serve with French bread for dipping.

Chef John
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Ingredients

2
Original recipe yields 2 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Brush 2 small gratin dishes with 1 tablespoon melted butter.

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  • Whisk creme fraiche, white wine, lemon zest, cayenne pepper, and kosher salt together in a bowl until sauce is smooth. Place scallops in sauce and toss to coat; let sit until flavors begin to blend, about 5 minutes. Divide scallops between prepared gratin dishes and pour remaining creme fraiche sauce over the top. Top with tarragon and Parmesan cheese. Drizzle remaining butter over the top.

  • Bake in the preheated oven for 4 minutes. Increase oven setting to broil and continue cooking until scallops are golden brown, slightly springy, and opaque, 2 to 4 minutes more.

Nutrition Facts

354 calories; 25.5 g total fat; 123 mg cholesterol; 605 mg sodium. 2.6 g carbohydrates; 23.8 g protein; Full Nutrition

Reviews (46)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
06/06/2015
This scallop dish is pure heaven. I followed Chef John's recipe exactly. You must use fresh tarragon. The sauce was so good I actually licked my plate. The second time I made this, I added a few drops of Bristol Cream sherry to the sauce mix. It gave an unbelievable depth of flavor. We served this with Steamy Microwave Zucchini. That recipe is on this site. The third time I made it, I put a slice of whole grain Oatnut bread on the bottom of the serving plates, topped it with the zucchini, and poured the baked scallop gratin over the top of each serving. The sauce from the gratin flavors the zucchini and soaks into the bread. This is a wonderful low calorie one-dish meal that is quick to make and everyone loves it. Read More
(15)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
04/04/2020
Ok, nothing special. If I’m gong to eat Scallops I will go all the way and use more butter, garlic and cheese. This is not the time to go light. Read More
56 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 43
  • 4 star values: 9
  • 3 star values: 2
  • 2 star values: 1
  • 1 star values: 1
Rating: 5 stars
06/06/2015
This scallop dish is pure heaven. I followed Chef John's recipe exactly. You must use fresh tarragon. The sauce was so good I actually licked my plate. The second time I made this, I added a few drops of Bristol Cream sherry to the sauce mix. It gave an unbelievable depth of flavor. We served this with Steamy Microwave Zucchini. That recipe is on this site. The third time I made it, I put a slice of whole grain Oatnut bread on the bottom of the serving plates, topped it with the zucchini, and poured the baked scallop gratin over the top of each serving. The sauce from the gratin flavors the zucchini and soaks into the bread. This is a wonderful low calorie one-dish meal that is quick to make and everyone loves it. Read More
(15)
Rating: 5 stars
06/06/2015
This scallop dish is pure heaven. I followed Chef John's recipe exactly. You must use fresh tarragon. The sauce was so good I actually licked my plate. The second time I made this, I added a few drops of Bristol Cream sherry to the sauce mix. It gave an unbelievable depth of flavor. We served this with Steamy Microwave Zucchini. That recipe is on this site. The third time I made it, I put a slice of whole grain Oatnut bread on the bottom of the serving plates, topped it with the zucchini, and poured the baked scallop gratin over the top of each serving. The sauce from the gratin flavors the zucchini and soaks into the bread. This is a wonderful low calorie one-dish meal that is quick to make and everyone loves it. Read More
(15)
Rating: 5 stars
04/27/2015
I do enjoy scallops but Corey absolutely loves them. When he dug into these scallops he was definitely happy. I asked him if there was anything about them he didn't like the answer was NO. When I asked him if it was a 5-star recipe he said YES. I had to agree with him. I couldn't get fresh tarragon at the grocery store but since I don't care for tarragon I wasn't too disappointed and picked up some fresh marjoram instead. I have to say that homemade creme fraiche makes my heart sing so I loved that part of the recipe. I forgot to pick up a lemon at the grocery store and today being Good Friday everything was closed. I went to our local fish and chip store out of desperation and asked if they would sell me a lemon and they gave me one no charge! I knew the recipe would have missed the lemon zest. The scallops were delicious but I thoroughly enjoyed dipping the French bread in the sauce. It was pricey but it was worth it. What a treat! Read More
(13)
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Rating: 5 stars
09/10/2016
no i didn't make any changes and it came very good will make again, and share it some friends. Read More
(6)
Rating: 4 stars
01/11/2019
Delicious, quick and simple! This was my first time making scallops and this recipe was perfect for a first-timer! I watched Chef John’s video where he shared substitutions. I didn’t have the creme frais so he suggested heavy cream. I also didn’t have tarragon and his suggestion of dill worked well. I would like to try again with the original recipe. I served it over angel hair pasta and my picky four year old ate it!! Read More
(3)
Rating: 5 stars
06/17/2018
This is such a great recipe for scallops and can be tweaked in so many ways. I followed the basic recipe and served over cooked fettucini along with steamed broccoli drizzled with a garlic butter sauce then sprinkled finely grated fresh parmigiano reggiano and finely chopped fresh basil over the entire dish. This is a real treat. And my wife said I HAVE TO make this again. Read More
(3)
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Rating: 5 stars
01/08/2016
This was awesome. I took recommendation to serve with a zesty micrwave squash and layered it all over oat bread to soak up the juice. Wife said it was better than going out. Thanks to all for the recepie and the suggestion. Read More
(2)
Rating: 5 stars
02/20/2018
Wow this is an amazing way to serve scallops! My husband is normally the seafood chef in our home but when he tasted these he said he bowed to me as the scallop chef! I used vermouth instead of white wine as I usually substitute and we loved the delicate way the scallops cooked and the divine sauce laced with the flavors of lemon wine and tarragon. This is good enough for a formal dinner party! Read More
(2)
Rating: 5 stars
12/15/2015
I could not find crème fraiche the first time I made it so I substituted mayonnaise. It was still very good. I have since made it with crème fraiche and I'm not sure which is better. It is very important that the scallops are nice and dry and I am reducing the amount of wine (I use dry vermouth) a bit so the marinade is thicker. I like another poster's idea of placing a slice of baguette in the bottom of the gratin dish to soak up the sauce. I will do that next time. Read More
(2)
Rating: 5 stars
01/12/2017
My husband loved this! My kids not so much. This my first time making scallops (SO expensive!) and I'm glad it turned out well. Read More
(1)
Rating: 3 stars
04/04/2020
Ok, nothing special. If I’m gong to eat Scallops I will go all the way and use more butter, garlic and cheese. This is not the time to go light. Read More