Grilled Sea Scallops With Raspberry-Thyme Beurre Blanc

2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped
1/2 cup fresh raspberries (or frozen; thaw before preparing sauce), plus more fresh berries for optional garnish
1 cup dry white wine (such as pinot gris or an unoaked chardonnay)
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons minced shallots
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 16 pieces
Salt and ground white pepper, to taste
1 1/2 pounds sea scallops
Cooking spray, as needed
Fresh thyme sprigs, for garnish

In a small bowl, mash the thyme leaves into the raspberries. Stir in the wine and sugar, cover and let macerate for 1 hour at room temperature.

Strain raspberry mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into a medium-sized, heavy, nonaluminum saucepan; stir in the shallots. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer until mixture has reduced to 1/3 cup, for about 15 minutes.

If you want sauce to be velvety smooth, strain mixture again to remove shallots. But I like them in sauce, so consider skipping that step and leaving them in.

Over low heat, start whisking in the butter pieces, 1 or 2 at a time, until they are just melted into sauce. Continue whisking in butter until you have used it all and sauce is smooth and rich. Whisk in the salt and pepper to taste. Keep warm while you grill the scallops (do not let sauce boil at this point or it may separate; keep warm by placing pot over another pot containing a bit of simmering water, like a double-boiler).

Generously coat both sides of scallops with some of the cooking spray, then season with salt and pepper. Place scallops on a preheated grill and cook until nicely seared and caramelized on bottom sides. This will take about 21/2 minutes. If scallops are sticking, continue cooking until they release from grill. Turn scallops and continue cooking until just opaque and firm but not overcooked (they get pretty tough).

To serve, divide prepared beurre blanc among 4 warm dinner plates. Place grilled scallops on top of sauce and garnish with the sprigs of thyme and raspberries.

Makes 4 servings.

— Recipe adapted from "Fish and Shellfish Grilled and Smoked," by Karen Adler and Judith M. Fertig.


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