Market Fresh


I love the change from the cold weather of winter to the warmer weather of spring and the availability of fresh food and lighter flavors that come along with the seasonal transition.

The magazine turns its attention this month to green living, and what’s greener than the Farmers’ Market? And what’s greener at the Farmers’ Market than spinach?

This recipe for seared scallops on spinach with apple-brandy cream sauce makes use of the healthful green. It offers the richness of a cream sauce sweetened with Calvados, which is a dry apple brandy produced in the Normandy region of France. Balancing the sweetness of the Calvados and apple juice are fresh thyme, shallots and garlic. And the sauce complements the freshness of the spinach and scallops.

Eating green never tasted so good.

Recipe: Seared Scallops on Spinach With Apple-Brandy Cream Sauce


1 1/2tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 large shallot, minced
1/3 cup Calvados
1 cup heavy whipping cream
16 large sea scallops, patted dry
1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup apple juice (fresh unfiltered, if available)
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 large garlic clove, minced
9 ounces fresh spinach, washed, trimmed and towel dried


Heat 1/2 tablespoon olive oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallot; stir 30 seconds. Add Calvados (brandy may ignite); boil 30 seconds. Add cream; boil 2 minutes. Transfer sauce base to bowl. (Sauce base can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Sprinkle scallops with salt and pepper. Heat vegetable oil in another large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add 8 scallops.

Cook until brown, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to rimmed baking sheet; place in oven to keep warm. Repeat with remaining scallops. Add apple juice and thyme to hot skillet. Boil 1 minute, scraping up brown bits. Add sauce base; bring to boil. Remove from heat.

Heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and stir 30 seconds. Add spinach; toss until barely wilted and still bright green, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Using tongs, mound spinach in center of 8 plates, dividing equally.

Arrange 2 scallops on spinach on each plate.

Pour any collected juices from baking sheet into sauce in skillet. Boil until thickened about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper; spoon over scallops.

Serves 8 as appetizer or 4 as main course using 4 scallops per serving. Recipe courtesy of

Nancy Lynch is a self-taught cook from a family of foodies. E-mail your questions, comments or recipe requests to See Nancy’s previously published recipes online at

Madison Magazine - April 2008


Bookmark and Share Email this page Email Print this page Print Feed Feed
Bookmark and Share Email this page Email Print this page Print Feed Feed


Madison Magazine August 2014 - August 2014 $19.95 for one year - Subscribe today