Cook the Book: Charred Sea Scallops with Smoked Sea Salt

Cook the Book: Charred Sea Scallops with Smoked Sea Salt

There’s no sweeter seafood than a scallop right out of the shell. At Le Bernardin, they’re charred only on their sides and left ultra-rare in the middle to preserve that amazing sweetness. The smoky, salty garnish of oven-dried Niçoise olives and smoked Viking sea salt only amplifies the scallop’s natural sugars.

The smoked salt, which comes from Denmark, is a wonderful ingredient that brings an intense, almost campfire-like note to dishes. If you can’t find it in a specialty food store, it can be ordered online from Kalustyan’s.

  • Yield:4


  • The garnish
  • 8 Niçoise olives
  • 1 teaspoon smoked Viking salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 micro chives
  • The scallops
  • 8 large sea scallops (about 12 ounces)
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground white pepper


  1. 1.

    For the olives, preheat the oven to 180°F. Cut the olives in half and remove the pits. Spread the olives on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake until dry, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Roughly chop the olives. Set aside.

  2. 2.

    For the scallops, pull off the muscles and discard. Rub the scallions with the olive oil and season with salt and white pepper.

  3. 3.

    Heat a cast-iron griddle over medium-high heat. Put the scallops on their sides on the griddle and sear just the edges, turning them as necessary. The scallops should still be rare.

  4. 4.

    To serve, slice the scallops in half crosswise and place 4 halves on each plate, cut side up. Garnish each half with the dried olives, smoked salt, and black pepper. Drizzle the extra virgin olive oil over the scallops and garnish each plate with a chive. Serve immediately.