Scallops with Grilled Sweet Corn Salad

Scallops with grilled sweet corn salad is summer on a plate. Plump sea scallops are seared in brown butter then nestled in a bed of grilled corn, watercress, and sliced red onion.

Plate of butter-basted seared scallops on a salad of watercress and sweet corn

This stunner of a summer supper is oh so simple to make, oh so complex in taste. And it’s on the table in just over half an hour.–Angie Zoobkoff

How To Make This Easy Recipe Even Easier

Our only complaint about this recipe, if you could even call it a complaint, is that it calls for you to run back and forth between stovetop and grill. There’s a way around that. Actually, there are two ways around that. First, you could do everything on the grill by simply placing the skillet on the grill rack, being very careful of not splashing butter as you baste the scallops and standing at arm’s length from the grill so as to avoid flare-ups. Or you could boil or broil or sauté the corn inside keeping everything on the stovetop. Just a thought in case some nights you’re as exhausted as we are and can’t stand to walk those extra few steps between kitchen and backyard.

Scallops with Grilled Sweet Corn Salad

  • Quick Glance
  • 20 M
  • 35 M
  • Serves 4
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  • For the grilled sweet corn salad
  • 1 small red onion (about 3 1/2 ounces), halved and very thinly sliced
  • 4 ears sweet corn, husks and silks removed
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for rubbing
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 ounces watercress, thick stems discarded
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • For the scallops
  • 16 large sea scallops (1 1/2 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 ounce)
  • Lemon wedges, for serving


  • Make the grilled sweet corn salad
  • 1. Fill a medium bowl halfway with ice and water. Add the red onion and refrigerate until chilled through and crisp, about 15 minutes. Drain the onion and spread it on paper towels to dry.
  • 2. Meanwhile, light a grill or preheat a grill pan over medium-high heat.
  • 3. Rub the corn with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill, turning occasionally, until the kernels are lightly charred and crisp-tender, about 10 minutes. Let cool slightly.
  • 4. Invert a small bowl and place it in the bottom of a large bowl. Working with one ear at a time, stand the bottom of an ear of corn on the small bowl and, using a knife, cut off the kernels so they fall into the large bowl. Remove the small bowl and add the watercress, vinegar, drained red onion, and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and toss well. Transfer the salad to individual plates or a platter.
  • Sear the scallops
  • 5. Season the scallops generously with salt and pepper. In a large nonstick skillet set over high heat, warm the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the scallops and cook, without budging or even touching them, until browned on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Working quickly, flip the scallops and add the butter to the skillet. Cook, spooning the butter over the scallops, until they’re barely firm to the touch, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes more.

    Black skillet with seven sea scallops being basted with a spoon full of brown butter
  • 6. Spoon the scallops and butter over the salad, garnish with lemon wedges, and serve immediately.

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