- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup hazelnuts, skins removed coarsely chopped
- 2 teaspoons white-wine vinegar
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
- 1 pound large sea scallops (about 12), muscles removed, cut in half horizontally
- 1 to 2 bunches (about 1/2 pound total) arugula (preferably baby), washed well and dried
- In a large skillet, stirring frequently, cook butter over medium heat until golden brown and most of the foam has subsided, about 4 minutes. Immediately transfer butter to a small bowl. Stir in hazelnuts and vinegar, and season with salt and pepper. Cover hazelnut butter to keep warm, and set aside. Wipe out pan with a paper towel.
- Season scallops generously with salt and pepper. Place same skillet over medium-high heat. When skillet is hot, cook scallops, in two batches (to avoid steaming), until browned and opaque in center, turning over once with a thin-bladed metal spatula, about 2 minutes total.
- Divide arugula among four serving plates; top with scallops. Spoon hazelnut butter over scallops.
To cook scallops in a dry skillet, they must be seared at high heat; this allows a crust to form and eliminates the need for oil. Wait until a crust develops before turning scallops over or they will stick to skillet and tear.