Scallops With Sage, A Savoury Crumb, & Lemon Cream
Sometimes we wonder “what to serve with scallops?” But why ask, “what to serve with scallops,” when you can make low FODMAP scallops that are the star of the show? Okay, technically, we’re still adding “sides” to the dish but not in the traditional way.
We’ll be sharing some top tips on what to serve with scallops and how to cook them perfectly each time. If you’re looking for an actual side dish to serve with scallops, keep on reading.
Aside from the scallops, you’ll be making:
- The Recipe
- How To Assemble
- What To Serve With Scallops
- Frequently Asked Questions
The best part? This can all be done in 10 minutes!
Another way to look at this, “what to serve with scallops?” is by making them the star of the show and pairing them with a savory crumb for some crunch, sage for extra flavor, brown butter for richness, and a lemony cream to lighten the dish.
Let’s talk about some tips for cooking the perfect scallops.
The Perfect Golden Brown Scallops
Whether you’re serving frozen or fresh scallops, the most important part is to make sure they are dry. Nothing stops browning and caramelization more than wet scallops. Place your scallops on a paper towel and pat them dry.
Another thing to keep in mind when cooking these scallops is to work in batches. If you overcrowd the pan while cooking your scallops, this will create a steaming effect and that will leave you with pale crustless scallops.
Also, an important note: season the scallops while they’re in the pan. Salt draws out moisture, so seasoning them while they’re on the paper towel is a no-no. It will reintroduce all that moisture you’re trying to get rid of and leave you with wet scallops. Something we don’t want.
Top tips for cooking scallops:
- Remove moisture with paper towels
- Do not overcrowd the pan
- Season while cooking
The Sage Leaves
These crispy sage leaves not only flavor the butter but they make fantastic garnishes. They’re quick -we’re talking 30 seconds here-, impressive, and best of all, they’re easy.
Once the butter has melted, drop your sage leaves in the pan. Watch them transform to a darker shade. When that happens, remove them out of the pan and repeat as many times as needed.
As the leaves cool, they will crispen up nicely. At this stage, you are welcome to season them lightly with salt. Now, you have beautiful garnishes or a delicious snack.
It’s easy to transform any recipe into gluten free low FODMAP recipes if you have gluten free flour lying around but sometimes they’re not that easy to get a hold of.
In this case, the crumb is not a necessity. It is a delicious bonus to the dish. Neither of us has gluten intolerance but too much of it isn’t a good thing either.
Apparently, some flour is okay but at 2/3 cups or 100 grams, it starts becoming a high FODMAP. We haven’t tested this out yet -just kind of eyeballing it as we go. To keep it safe though, this recipe uses 100 grams of wheat flour to 50 grams of butter for a luxurious richness.
The butter can be either room temperature or in blocks, what matters is that it isn’t in a liquid form. Massage the butter through the flour with your fingertips until everything is thoroughly incorporated. The mixture should look sandy but when you squeeze it, it should hold its shape.
Create large clumps and break them up to your desired size. Let them get all nice and toasty in the oven and voila, you have made a savory crumb.
The Lemony Cream
In keeping with the theme of this low FODMAP fish recipe, this lemony creme fraiche is -you guessed it- simple to make. We’ve always been under the impression that sour cream or creme fraiche was a high FODMAP item because most dairy items are.
According to Fodmapedia, two tablespoons of creme fraiche or sour cream is totally acceptable. You learn something new every day.
When grating the lemon for the zest, try using short strokes whilst turning the lemon. Make sure to use organic lemons or clean the skin of your lemon thoroughly. Avoid getting the white parts, those bits are bitter and can leave an unpleasant aftertaste. Aim for only the yellow part of the skin.
Tip: For easy juicing, place the lemon in your palm and roll it back and forth. This will soften the lemon and yield more juice.
How To Assemble
Make this dish extra fancy by serving individual scallops on a spoon and presenting them as an amuse-bouche.
Start by piping a dollop of cream in the spoon and placing the scallop on top. Drizzle the delicious butter over them, top with caviar, the crumb, and some sage.
To assemble this dish as a starter, start by spooning on 2 tablespoons of lemon cream onto a plate. You can tap the bottom of the plate a few times to smoothen the mixture into a circular shape or use your spoon to do so.
Place 3 scallops onto the cream and follow with a spoonful of the melted butter from the pan. Drizzle this in a circular motion above the scallops. Garnish with the crispy sage leaves and as pictured, you can even add some caviar or fish roe to zhuzh up the dish.
What To Serve With Scallops
As promised, we will now answer the questions posed at the beginning of this post, “what to serve with scallops?” The top 6 sides to serve with scallops are:
- Grains & beans
- Pasta or noodles
- Salads & vegetables
The next category will give you over 15 recipes for side dishes to serve with scallops:
Rice is a simple side dish that will go with almost anything. I’m not talking about simple plain white rice, you can flavor the rice to compliment the scallops. Think of seafood fried rice or rice cooked in tomato puree or coconut milk.
Here are some of our favorite flavored rice dishes to serve with scallops:
Grains & Beans
Rice isn’t the only side you can serve with scallops. Grains are a great alternative for anyone trying to cut back on rice. You can serve scallops on a bed of flavored lentils, beans, quinoa and so much more:
Pasta or Noodles
Pasta is a go to for scallop side dishes but you can refresh this timeless classic by changing up the pasta shape. Choose short noodles like macaroni or shells to make a pasta salad. You can also go for other types of noodles like vermicelli or egg noodles. These are some of our favorite non-traditional noodle choices to pair with scallops:
Everything tastes better with potatoes -scallops included. But what kind of potatoes to serve with scallops? Mashed potatoes, roasted potatoes, fries, potato pancakes, scalloped potatoes, potatoes au gratin, potato salad, you name it. Potatoes are the perfect side dish for scallops and we have some show stopping recipes for you:
Salads & Vegetables
Leafy greens like salads are another great way to get your recommended daily intake of vegetables and they make an easy side for scallops. Add your perfectly cooked scallops to a beautiful bowl of salad or make this chicken salad recipe and swap the chicken out with scallops instead:
Scallops and brussel sprouts are such a popular combination but you can also serve scallops with other vegetables like broccoli, carrots, or green beans:
This might sound a bit weird but scallops are great at absorbing flavor, so why serve scallops with a side of curry? I recommend something subtle in flavor like a Thai Green Vegetable Curry.
For folks that have bowels made of steel and can tolerate cruciferous vegetables, keep on reading. For those of us that aren’t immune to the effects of broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, and other members of this vegetable family, look away.
Or not. Maybe you’re looking for some danger in your life. Here are a few things you can serve with scallops:
- Our Garlic Parmesan Broccoli
- Creamy Bacon & Broccoli
- Soy & Maple Glazed Broccoli, Cauliflower, or Brussel Sprouts
- Garlic Buttered Broccoli or Cauliflower
- Cauliflower Rice
- Cauliflower Mash
- Cumin Spiced Roasted Cauliflower
- Shaved Brussel Sprout Salad
- Balsamic Roasted Brussel Sprouts
- Brown Butter Scallop Pasta
- Pan Seared Scallop Salad
- Buttered Quinoa
- Roasted Asparagus
- Bacon Wrapped Scallops
- Slow Roasted Baby Tomatoes
- Buttered Green Beans
The world is your oyster -or should we say scallop?- when it comes to sides.
Have some questions about scallops? Lucky for you the next section is a FAQ where we answer related to this topic.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Flavors Go Best With Scallops?
Scallops pair really well with herbs and spices. The top 7 flavor combinations that go best with scallops:
- Italian Parsley
How Many Scallops Should You Eat In A Serving?
How many scallops you serve depends on the course. If you’re serving scallops as an appetizer then 2-3 scallops should be more than enough.
If you’re serving them as a main course then the recommended serving is 4-6 large scallops which is roughly 6 oz per serving.
What Is The Best Way To Cook Scallops?
The best way to cook scallops is in a medium to high heat pan for 4-5 minutes.
- Start with olive oil in a pan and make sure the scallops are patted dry.
- Place a few scallops in the pan and cook for 2 minutes. Do not overcrowd the pan.
- Flip the scallop to the other side.
- Add butter to the pan and cook for another 2-3 minutes depending on how big your scallops are. Serve immediately.
Should You Season Scallops Before Cooking?
No, you don’t need to season scallops before cooking. Scallops are naturally very salty so it’s better to season them after cooking.
Seasoning scallops with salt before cooking can actually prevent you from getting perfectly cooked scallops. Salt draws out moisture and will make your scallops wet. This will give you pale scallops.
How Do You Keep Scallops From Being Chewy?
Scallops become chewy when they are overcooked. The best way to avoid this is to cook scallops for 2 minutes on each side.
A perfectly cooked scallop will have a golden brown crust and the sides will look opaque. They should be firm with a little give. So not too firm but not soft like Jell-O either.
“What to serve with scallops,” answered from two different angles. Whether you like your scallops with a hearty side or want to pair them with subtler options, one thing remains: serve them rustic or serve them fancy, scallops are delicious and absolutely versatile.
How do you like your scallops? What are your favorite things to serve with them? Let us know in the comments below.
A rich and buttery low FODMAP scallop recipe that is sure to impress.
- 600 grams scallops (fresh or frozen)
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 cloves of garlic crushed
- A pinch of salt
- 2 stalks of sage
- 100 grams flour
- 50 grams unsalted butter
- 1 stalk of sage leaves chopped
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Lemon Cream
- 200 grams crème fraîche (or sour cream)
- Zest & juice of half a lemon
- Garnish (optional)
- Fish roe or caviar
Pre-heat oven to 180c or 356f.
If scallops are frozen, thaw in cold water. Once thawed, pat dry with paper towels.
While the scallops are thawing mix all the ingredients for the crumb in a bowl. Rub the butter and flour through your hands until there are no large chunks of butter and squeeze the mixture to form crumbs. Line a baking tray and bake for 10 minutes or until lightly golden.
For the crispy sage leaves, pick the sage leaves from the stalk and set them aside.
Heat butter in a pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Add sage leaves in a single layer and watch as they crisp up, this should take about 30 seconds. Remove them from the pan and place them on a plate lined with paper towels.
In the same pan, add your crushed garlic cloves, then add your scallops in a single layer. Be sure not to overcrowd the pan and work in batches if your pan is too small.
Season with salt and cook for 2-3 minutes on one side, until you see a golden crust form on one side. Then, flip your scallops and cook the other side for roughly another 2 minutes. The scallops are cooked through once they're opaque.
Take the scallops off the heat and set them aside. Remember to keep the butter!
For the lemony cream the scallops sit on, simply add the zest and juice of half a lemon to the crème fraîche and mix thoroughly.
Spoon on 2 tbsp of the lemony cream onto the plate and spread.
Lay 3 scallops onto the cream and spoon over the melted butter the scallops were cooked in.
Sprinkle the crumb over the dish and garnish with sage leaves.
For a bougie touch, add caviar or fish roe on each scallop.