The Perfect Seared Scallop

Ina Garten (Barefoot Contessa) is my domestic and lifestyle idol. Everything she does, no matter the simplicity, oozes luxury but in the most simple way. I was so excited to use her book “Foolproof” as the first choice for The Cultured Domestic Cookbook Club. There are so many great recipes and entertaining ideas in the book that it’s impossible to choose what to try!

I’ve always wanted to perfect preparing scallops because they are so easily destroyed. So my first attempt from the book was to sear a damn good scallop and make Ina’s delicious take on Brussels sprouts. It’s so weird to me that I voluntarily eat Brussels sprouts because you couldn’t even pay me in chocolate to eat anything green when I was a kid.

Without going too heavy on the self praise, my recreation of this meal was flawless, impeccable, delicious! That was subtle, right?

Let’s start with the scallops. Be sure your scallops are thawed and dry (pat dry with paper towels).

1. Heat a couple tablespoons of grape seed oil (higher burn temp) and allow oil to get extremely hot

2. Salt and pepper scallops generously on both sides

3. Place about four to five scallops (depending on your pan size, I used a 12 inch sauté pan) into the hot oil and leave them alone. Allow to sear about 3 minutes then flip and repeat. You should be looking for a crusted brown color

*Note: If your pan is hot enough you should have no problem with sticking


Moving on to these delicious balsamic roasted Brussels sprouts.

1. Rinse, remove stem, and halve the sprouts ( I used baby sprouts)

2. Chop pancetta into small pieces

3. Place sprouts and pancetta onto a baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil, salt, and pepper over the mixture and use your hands to distribute it evenly, coating all of it well

4. Layer the mixture evenly on a non-stick baking sheet, try not to crowd it

5. Bake 20 to 30 minutes until the sprouts are tender and the pancetta crispy

6. Once the sprouts are done, remove them from the oven and drizzle with balsamic (per Ina’s advice I boiled the balsamic to thicken it before pouring it over the sprouts)

*Note: Ina’s recipe did not call for crumbled feta, but I just had to top mine with some


Here is the finished product all plated and fancy, unfortunately it only lasted long enough to take pictures for this post and then I demolished it….I’m not a measurements person so I rarely have them to share (sorry). But If you feel you need them to pull this meal off, Ina details it all in the book. You should grab a copy and join the book club!

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