Seared Scallops With Citrus-Fennel Slaw and Beurre Blanc

What to eat when days are still warm and nights are getting cooler? The scallops at Moxy Bistro, chef-owner Eric Brenner’s simple but flavorful dish that’s been on the menu since the day the Central West End restaurant opened. It hits the spot anytime, but meaty caramelized scallops; bright, crunchy slaw; and tangy, buttery sauce make it a flavor profile perfect for summer’s swan song.
– Katie O’Connor


12 medium dry-packed sea scallops
2 lemons
1 bay leaf
1 shallot, minced
1 Tbsp. white wine
2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
¼ cup heavy cream
1 stick butter, softened
1 fennel bulb
1 red bell pepper, julienned
4 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
3 to 4 sprigs fresh dill, chopped
Kosher salt
12 baby spinach leaves


• Remove the small muscle from the side of the scallops and reserve. Set the scallops on a paper towel and bring to room temperature.

• Remove the zest from 1 lemon with a vegetable peeler and place it in a small saucepan. Add the juice of the lemon, the bay leaf, shallot, wine, vinegar and reserved muscles from the scallops and reduce by half.

• Add the cream and reduce the sauce to less than ¼ cup.

• Remove the pan from the heat, strain the sauce into another small pan and return it to the stove over low heat. Gradually whisk in the softened butter. Don’t let the sauce go over 130 degrees.

• With a mandoline, very finely shave the fennel bulb into a small mixing bowl. Add the red pepper, the juice of 1 lemon, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, the dill and a pinch of kosher salt. Mix and let rest.

• When the sauce is ready, lightly season one side of the scallops with kosher salt. Get a skillet screaming hot on the stovetop. Add remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil.

• When the oil begins to “dance” (just before smoking), place the scallops in the pan salt-side down. Cook until the scallops begin to caramelize.

• Flip the scallops and immediately remove the pan from the heat. The heat of the pan will cook the scallops through in about 3 to 4 minutes.

• Place a few leaves of baby spinach on each plate and top with a tiny mound of the fennel slaw.

• Place 3 scallops on each plate. Spoon the sauce onto the plate just in front of the scallops.