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Lunch / Dinner

Cider Seared Scallops with Wilted Garlicky Spinach

Scallops are one of the quickest cooking proteins you can choose. And when you use only one pan to bring each component of this dish together, you know it’s a keeper. Finish with a drizzle of dreamy cider sauce for an elegant meal that can be made on any night of the week.


4 servings

Total Time

35 minutes

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Test Kitchen Tip

The key to cooking scallops is to get the pan really hot so the scallops sizzle when they hit the surface, then leave them for about 3 minutes before flipping.


Sauté garlic in 2 Tbsp. oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat until softened, 2 minutes. Add spinach and sauté until wilted, 35 minutes; season with salt and pepper flakes. Transfer spinach to a bowl; keep warm. Wipe out the pan and return it to the stove top over medium-high heat.

Brush scallops with remaining 2 Tbsp. oil; season with salt and black pepper. Add any leftover oil to pan, add scallops, and sear until they easily release, 3 minutes. Flip scallops and sear until cooked through, 3 minutes more; transfer to a plate and keep warm.

Sauté shallots in same pan until softened; deglaze pan with cider, scraping up any brown bits. Whisk in tomato paste, Dijon, and vinegar; bring to a boil and simmer sauce until reduced to ½ cup, about 5 minutes.

Off heat, whisk in butter. Divide spinach among serving plates; top with scallops and sauce.


Just briefly cook fresh spinach in a sauté pan until it wilts, then keep warm until ready to serve.


Searing the scallops develops fond in the pan, which is the base for the flavorful sauce.

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