We sear, therefore we are. Few foods that are this lightning-quick to make require so much patience, because (I know, cue broken record) you really. musn’t. move. the goshdarned scallops once you get them in that pan. If you disobey me, you risk that heavenly golden crust getting ripped away from the scallop body, and who wants that? So wait before you flip to avoid flipping out. The butter sauce is easy and fancy, so bonus points. And those zoodles? If you’ve got a spiralizer you’re golden, but even if you don’t you can either buy pre-zoodled carrots (yes, that’s a thing these days) or just use a julienne peeler to get similar results.
- 3 large carrots (about 1 pound)
- 1 small bunch scallions (about 8 scallions)
- 4 tablespoons canola oil
- 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning the scallops
- 1 pound jumbo scallops (8 scallops)
- ¼ cup dry white wine
- 2 tablespoons butter, cut into chunks
- ¼ cup toasted slivered almonds
Use a spiralizer to create “noodles” out of the carrots (or use a julienne peeler). Trim the scallions, then cut the greens into 4-inch lengths and thinly slice the whites. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet (not nonstick) over medium heat and cook the garlic and scallion whites until fragrant, 2 minutes. Add the carrots, scallion greens, and ½ teaspoon salt and cook, tossing with tongs, until softened but still “al dente,” 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a plate and cover to keep warm.
Wipe out the skillet and raise the heat to medium-high. Just before cooking, pat the scallops dry, then season the tops generously with salt. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil to the skillet then add the scallops, salted side down, and cook, not moving the scallops, until the underside is browned and a crust has formed, 2 minutes. Pat the tops or the scallops dry, season with salt, flip with tongs, and cook until the underside is browned and a crust has formed, 2 more minutes. Uncover the carrots, arrange the scallops on top of the carrots and recover. Add the wine to the skillet and cook, scraping up the bottom, until half of the wine has evaporated, 2 to 3 minutes. Whisk in the butter piece by piece until the sauce is lightened and thickened, 1 minute.
Uncover, drizzle the sauce over the scallops, and top with the almonds.