Elevate your romantic, at-home date night by serving Seared Scallops with Raspberry Gastrique. This entree looks and sounds fancy, but is incredibly easy to make. The gastrique is a simple sweet-and-sour sauce, made in this recipe by reducing raspberry preserves, vinegar and sugar in a saucepan. Sear the scallops over high heat, and serve over the reduced tart-and-sweet raspberry sauce. Make this easy but fancy romantic dish for date night!
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Speaking of LOVE… Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. And I don’t know about y’all, but instead of arranging a fancy pants restaurant dinner (and childcare for said evening), my husband and I stick to at-home Valentine’s.
We’ve been doing this for years, and this year, we’re shaking it up with SCALLOPS in a sauce that sounds fancy but is actually super simple!
This recipe was adapted from a cooking class in Hattiesburg, Miss. My mother purchased me a ticket to a demo for my birthday, and I had a blast.
The evening was incredibly fun, and I came home with several recipes to perfect.
Scallops in a Blueberry Gastrique was the standout. Because of this, Winston and I have enjoyed it for various special occasions.
However, in preparation for Valentine’s Day, I wanted to change this recipe up a bit. And since we both adore raspberries, I thought they might make a good twist to the dish.
Turns out, it’s a darn good twist.
This gastrique sounds super fancy, but it’s surprisingly simple. The sugar (and preserves) add sweetness while the vinegar adds a punch of tart and sour. If you take a sniff of this as it’s cooking down, your nose will burn, but do not let that deter you. The end result is marvelous.
We wanted to drink the gastrique and kept dipping our scallops in for more because it strikes the perfect balance of sweet and tart and sour without being overwhelming in any direction.
Once the gastrique is made, you’re almost home free. Sear the scallops in a combination of butter and olive oil until golden brown on both sides, then serve the gastrique and scallops together immediately.
Essentials Tools for Seared Scallops with Raspberry Gastrique
Get the look!
- Threshold White Appetizer Plate with Gold Rim.
- Threshold Pretty Party Napkins.
- Riedel Vivant White Wine Glasses.
- Oneida Countess Servingware.
Tips for Making PERFECT Seared Scallops
- Your pan needs to be screaming hot!
- Your scallops need to be patted dry. If they’ve still got some water on ’em, the fat will splatter when you place them in the pan.
- When placing the scallops in the pan, make sure each scallop has about 1″ of space around the edges. (Overcrowding the pan will bring down the temperature, and it’s harder to cook lots and lots of scallops at the same time!) Personally, I like to place 5-6 in my skillet at most.
- Once you place the scallops into the hot pan, don’t give in to temptation and move them. This will give the scallops a beautiful crust and golden brown color when you flip them.
- The scallops should only cook 2-3 minutes on each side.
- The scallops will be opaque when they’re done.
Dishes to pair with Seared Scallops
- Roasted Green Beans
- Wild Rice Salad with Dried Fruit and Almonds
- Lemon Kale
- Roasted Fennel Orange Salad
Does this sound like something you’d like to make for an at-home romantic dinner?
Scroll on down to learn how you can make it…
Seared Scallops with Raspberry Gastrique
- 1 cup white vinegar
- ¼ cup raspberry preserves , seedless
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- A pinch of kosher salt
- 1.5 lbs. sea scallops , patted dry
- Kosher salt and black pepper , for seasoning
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Make the Gastique
- In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the vinegar, preserves and sugar. Season with the dash of salt.
- Bring to a boil, then lower to heat.
- Reduce the mixture by half, then cover and set aside.
Cook the Scallops
- Prepare the scallops: Pinch the side muscles, which are the little tags on the side of the scallop, with your fingers. They’ll pull away easily. While they’re safe to eat, they are tougher than that of the rest of the scallop. Rinse with cold water, then pat dry. Season liberally on both sides with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- In a skillet over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Drizzle in the olive oil, too. Test the heat by sprinkling a few water droplets into the skillet. If it sizzles, it’s cooking time.
- Cook the scallops in batches, so as not to overcrowd the pan. Space them apart in the warm pan and cook for 2-3 minutes. Do not move them. When the time is up, flip using tongs, and cook for another 2-3 minutes on the other side. (Not moving the scallops will help them get that beautiful sear.)
- When the scallops are golden brown on both sides and opaque, they’re done. They should be firm to the touch, but still have a little give. They will become chewy if overcooked, so please keep your eye on the timer as you cook them.
- Ladle the gastrique onto the serving plates, and arrange the warm scallops over it. Serve immediately, and enjoy warm.
Please note the total time includes multiple rounds of cooking scallops, not one. If you cook the scallops for 20 minutes, they WILL be overcooked.
If you’re still hesitant about cooking scallops, I found this tutorial from The Kitchn really informative and helpful.