Seared Scallops with an Orange Tarragon Pan Sauce



  • 5 T. butter
  • 4 sprigs of fresh tarragon
  • Zest and juice of 2 oranges
  • 1 ½ pounds of scallops
  • Salt and pepper


  1. In a sauté pan, brown 4 T. of the butter with 2 sprigs of tarragon*. Once the butter is browned, pour it along with the tarragon into a bowl and set aside, leaving a small amount of butter in the pan to sear the scallops.
  2. Sear the scallops over medium high heat on each side making sure to get a nice crust on both sides. This should take about 1-2 minutes on each side. Remove the scallops from the pan, set aside.
  3. Pour the browned butter back into the sauté pan, discarding the tarragon. Whisk in the orange juice and simmer for about 5 minutes. The sauce should thicken slightly. Whisk in the remaining butter. Add the scallops back in to reheat.
  4. Serve the scallops with a sprinkling of zest and the remaining tarragon.


To brown the butter, heat the butter over medium heat until the milk solids and the butter has turned brown and has floated to the bottom of the pan. I served my scallops with couscous which I thought worked great with the delicateness of the scallops.



  1. Dorothy Young08-12-15

    This Scallops and Orange Tarragon Pan sauce sounds elegant! I’m from the northshore in MA, and we have a lovely fresh fish market right in town; so I can make this recipe. I like your idea of serving this with couscous. Wish me luck in making this right!

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