Scallops with Meyer Lemon Pan Sauce

As foretold yesterday, I have a scallop/Meyer lemon recipe today. Huzzah!

You know, all those people who unsubscribed because I’m “no longer relevant,” what with my lentils and quinoa and photos of crocus, are going to be disappointed that they missed this one.  It may not be Whole30 compliant, but it’s pretty straight-forward paleo/primal, and it’s absotively-effing delicious.  To say nothing of quick and drop-dead simple.

Oh, well.  Their loss.

Anyhoo, Meyer lemons.  I’d heard of them, but had never actually seen one until last week when I chanced upon a small bag of them at the local supermarket.  I eagerly bought it and left it on the counter while Beloved and I traipsed down to southern Ohio for an extended weekend of dominoes, hot tubs and other middle-aged fun and games (ahem).

I thought the Meyers, which are believed to be a hybrid of standard lemons and mandarin oranges, giving them a deep yellow color and sweeter, more floral flavor than your average, run-of-the-mill lemon, would be fine.  After all, I buy citrus all the time in season and it all does quite well sitting on the counter for several days.

Meyer lemons, not so much, unfortunately – all but one of them were beginning to rot when we returned on Monday.  Disappointed, visions of Meyer lemon goodies in the form of pies and pound cake quickly banished, I salvaged the one good fruit and began to wonder what I could do with it.

Once I’d remembered the scallops, it was easy.

Our butchers, Whitefeather Meats, have recently found a good source of wild, sustainably caught seafood, and last week we were pleased to see scallops in the seafood case.  They’re my absolutely favorite shellfish, so we bought them eagerly and when faced with no leftovers for lunch yesterday I decided it was time to consume them – pan-seared, they take all of about 8 minutes.  Coming up with the sauce took little time, and served with leftover Roasted Root Vegetable Hash, we were eating lunch in the comfort of our home 15 minutes later.

Let me just say, the Meyer lemon pan sauce is outstanding – I was literally licking it out of the pan as I cleaned up afterward.  It would be great on shrimp as well as chicken, so if you don’t do shellfish you can still make it and it will still be outstanding.

No Meyer lemons?  No problem – this would work well with your regular, garden-variety lemons, although you might want to increase the amount of honey and/or butter slightly, to keep it from being too acidic (which is the whole point of the honey and butter in the first place).

Scallops with Meyer Lemon Pan Sauce.  So simple and easy, but impressive enough for company!

Click the image to enlarge

Scallops with Meyer Lemon Pan Sauce
Serves: 4
  • 1 pound sea scallops
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • the juice and grated zest of 1 Meyer lemon
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon honey, or to taste
  1. Rinse the scallops and pat them dry; sprinkle both sides liberally with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter in a wide, heavy skillet over medium-high heat until the butter begins to foam.
  3. Place the scallops in the skillet and cook until lightly browned but still opaque in the center, about 3 minutes per side. Remove to a plate; cover and keep warm.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium and continue cooking the liquid in the pan until it becomes a light golden color, stirring frequently, about 1 minute. Stir in the lemon juice, scraping up any brown bits, then the zest, rosemary and honey. Continue cooking, stirring constantly, until the sauce is reduced and almost syrupy (this should take less than a minute). Remove from the heat and stir in the butter until melted.
  5. Plate the scallops and drizzle with the Meyer lemon sauce. Serve immediately.
  6. Nutrition (per serving): 211 calories, 13.2g total fat, 42.5mg cholesterol, 446.6mg sodium, 279mg potassium, 11g carbohydrates, 1.4g fiber, 4.3g sugar, 14.1g protein

11 thoughts on “Scallops with Meyer Lemon Pan Sauce”

  1. “Meyer lemons. I’d heard of them, but had never actually seen one until last week when I chanced upon a small bag of them at the local supermarket.”

    Really? You forgot what I was holding behind my back when we got hitched?

    Are you trying to forget the lemon or that day all together?


    Lucky I didn’t forget how tasty this quick lunch was!

  2. Actually, dear, based on the photo I have of the actual lemon (it’s here on the blog somewhere), it wasn’t a Meyer lemon, just your standard, run-of-the-mill variety.

    Which means she lied to us. I hope we’re really married.

    1. I’m really hoping I’ll be able to find some more at the store this afternoon. I really want to make something dessertish with them, they were so lovely.

  3. This looks delicious! I’m surprised you hadn’t seen meyer lemons before – I see them all the time here in PA, so they seem less exotic to me than many other ingredients you use!

    1. Most of the exotic ingredients I’ve used – I’m assuming you mean things like almond and tapioca flours or coconut sugar – I find at health food stores or buy online. Most of the lesser eaten(in the U.S., anyway) meats we source locally from our farmers or through our butcher. But when I first moved to a small city of merely 50,000 in northeast Ohio from the DFW area – a huge metropolitan area of about 3 million – in 2005, I was dismayed that so much of what I’d taken for granted was just plain hard to find (to this day, you still have to go to Cleveland, Columbus or Cincinnati for anything resembling ethnic food that isn’t Italian, Greek or German). The only Asian and Mexican markets in my immediate area are tiny, nothing like the huge stores supported by the large and diverse ethnic populations in Dallas/Ft. Worth.

      Now, having said that, supply must be catching up with demand, because as of late I’m beginning to see more exotic – for the area, anyway – fruits and vegetables, especially in season. I actually found canned lychees in the “Asian” section of the local grocery store (Giant Eagle, which I believe you have in PA) recently, and about fell over in shock. Purple and Japanese sweet potatoes are also starting to appear in mainstream supermarkets here in Podunk; it’s quite encouraging.

  4. I have a meyer lemon tree and I leave my lemons out on the counter. I try not to refrigerate citrus. I’m wondering if they were old to begin with and/or if the house temp were a factor?

    This recipe sounds wonderful.
    I have rosemary in my backyard too … I will make this!

    1. They were soft to begin with, I think, since they are – naturally – shipped from California to Ohio. I found more yesterday that were much firmer and in much better shape; I’m going to bake a cake with this batch.

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