Photo by Cynthia L. Nobles -- A dash of vanilla adds a sweet note to Seared Scallops With Lemon Vanilla Sauce.

Seared Scallops With Lemon Vanilla Sauce

Makes 2 servings. Recipe is by Cynthia L. Nobles, who says, “Although vanilla is typically used in desserts, a dash of its natural sweetness makes it a surprisingly good complement to shellfish.”

3 tbls. butter, divided

2 tsps. freshly squeezed lemon juice

¼ tsp. minced fresh thyme

¼ tsp. pure vanilla extract

8 large sea scallops

2 tsps. olive oil

Salt and ground black pepper

1. To make sauce, in a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter and stir constantly until butter just starts to turn brown, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in lemon juice and thyme and remove from heat. Stir in vanilla and set aside.

2. Rinse scallops and blot dry. In a large heavy-bottomed skillet, heat remaining 1 tablespoon butter and olive oil over medium-high heat until very hot, but butter has not yet turned color.

3. Sprinkle scallops with salt and pepper. Place in skillet, being careful that they don’t touch. Sear 2-3 minutes. Turn scallops over and sear another 2-3 minutes. (Scallops should be browned with crispy edges on both sides). Remove pan from heat and transfer cooked scallops to a plate. Top with sauce and serve immediately.