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Scallop Grenobloise

a bowl of food on a plate

Scallops are one of my top ten, maybe even top five favorite high-end foods. How can you not feel luxurious cutting into a perfectly seared scallop with that crust and buttery center? Here I have one of my go-to recipes for scallops (and a great recipe for all seafood). When we talk about pairing wines with food, it should always be about balance, in my opinion. With this dish we have a lot of butter, on top of the already rich and buttery scallop.The sauce is being “cut” with the acidity of the lemon, the saltiness of the capers, and the warmth from the jalapeno. One might imagine a buttery chardonnay would be good here, and while it isn’t an incorrect pairing, I would want something fresh and lively to offset those rich flavors. So I would look for a wine that is higher in acid, and maybe has some clean, zesty citrus notes to help frame the butter sauce. A French Sancerre (Sauvignon Blanc) would be a great fit, also Carricante from Italy’s Etna region would compliment the salinity of the capers and offer a minerally backbone to help cut through the rich flavor of the Scallops. A fun and unexpected pairing would be an off-dry Chenin Blanc or Riesling; the touch of residual sugar in the wine would balance the warmth of the jalapeno and would accentuate the velvety texture of the sauce. If you are a red wine drinker have a little fun and try this with a Cru Bojoulais from Fluerie. These delicate red wines made from Gamay have great character and acidity and would fit snug as a bug for a red wine pairing for this dish. We have all of these wines in our market, come speak to one of our Wine Specialists and let us help you find your perfect pairing!

Scallop Grenobloise

Grenobloise means in the style of the southeastern French city of Grenoble, and refers to a classic French sauce of lemon and capers.

Total Time: 20 mins Servings: 4


1 large lemon
16 jumbo sea scallops
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
½ teaspoon black pepper, divided
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup unsalted butter, cut into cubes
2 tablespoons capers, drained
1 medium jalapeño chile, stemmed, seeded, and minced (about 1 1/2 tablespoons)
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


Using a paring knife, remove outer peel and bitter white pith from lemon; discard. Cut in between membranes to remove lemon segments, and discard membranes. Cut segments into 1/4-inch pieces; remove and discard seeds. Set lemon segments aside. Sprinkle scallops evenly with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add scallops; cook until well seared and golden brown on bottoms, about 3 minutes. Flip scallops; cook until just opaque throughout, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer scallops to a platter, and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm. Wipe the skillet clean. Add butter to skillet, and melt over medium-high. Add capers and jalapeño; cook, stirring often, until sizzling and fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in lemon segments, parsley, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Spoon mixture over scallops. Serve immediately.