Bay scallops – what the French call coquilles St Jacques – are the most popular shellfish in Nova Scotia after lobster and crab. You can find these beautiful shells at depths up to 100 metres (328 feet) – or more – between Cape Hatteras and Labrador where the fisheries have been MSC-certified since 2010.
- 20 scallops (North American sea scallops), removed from their shells
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and left whole
- 25 g/1 oz/2 tbsp butter
- ½ shallot, chopped
- 150 g/5 oz sea lavender
- juice of ¼ lemon
- groundnut (peanut) oil, for frying
- salt and pepper
- Pat the scallops dry with kitchen paper (paper towels) and season them on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat 4 tablespoons of the groundnut (peanut) oil in a frying pan (skillet) over a high heat. Place the scallops in the pan in a single layer and, depending on their thickness, turn them over after 2–3 minutes. Fry for another 2–3 minutes to brown the other sides, without moving the scallops around in the pan. Once nicely browned, remove the scallops from the pan and keep warm covered with foil or in the oven on its lowest setting.
- Spear the garlic clove on the prongs of a fork. Heat the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat and fry the shallot for 2 minutes until translucent. Season lightly with a pinch of pepper. Add the sea lavender and stir with the garlic-topped fork for 1–2 minutes so it is infused with the flavour of the garlic and has softened. Add the lemon juice and check the seasoning, adding salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve the scallops with the sea lavender and the buttery juices spooned over.