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White Wine-Poached Scallop and Herb Salad

Sweet sea scallops, tossed with a delicate salad of chopped herbs, celery, and fennel, are brightened by the acidity of white wine. Choose a light, aromatic Muscadet, a dry Pinot Grigio or Alsatian Riesling, or a sparkling Prosecco. Serve as an appetizer or light lunch, with a glass of the same wine alongside.

  • Servings: 6

Source: Martha Stewart Living, September 2005


  • 2 1/2 cups dry white wine
  • Coarse salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 to 2 celery stalks, cut into 1/4-inch half-moons (about 1 1/2 cups), plus 1/4 cup pale-green leaves, very coarsely chopped
  • 1 small fennel bulb, halved lengthwise, core removed, cut crosswise in 1/4-inch half-moons (about 1 1/2 cups), plus 1/4 cup fronds, very coarsely chopped
  • 20 large sea scallops (about 1 pound), tough muscles removed
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus wedges for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, very coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 cup fresh chives, cut into 3/4-inch pieces


  1. Bring wine, a pinch of salt, bay leaf, celery, and fennel to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce to a simmer; cook until vegetables are just tender, about 8 minutes. Transfer vegetables to a medium bowl; discard bay leaf. Set aside. Add scallops to pan; simmer until just cooked through, about 3 minutes. Transfer scallops to bowl of vegetables; refrigerate until cold, about 30 minutes. Reserve 1/4 cup poaching liquid in a small bowl. Refrigerate until cold, about 20 minutes.

  2. Stir lemon juice into poaching liquid. Add oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking until emulsified. Slice scallops in half horizontally; toss with dressing and vegetables. Season with salt and pepper. Toss herbs, celery leaves, and fennel fronds in a small bowl, then divide among 4 serving plates. Top each with scallops and vegetables, dividing evenly. Drizzle with oil and dressing from bowl. Garnish each salad with a lemon wedge.

Cook's Notes

The scallops and vegetables can be poached and refrigerated up to one day ahead. Avoid using an oaky Chardonnay, which may add bitterness.


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