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Scallops in Saffron-Tarragon Broth

WebMD Recipe from

Total Time: 35 mins

Scallops in Saffron-Tarragon Broth

Tomatoes, tarragon and white wine make a fragrant broth for the scallops in this vibrantly colored easy one-pot stew. Make it a meal: Serve with a simple green salad and sop up the leftover broth with toasted whole-grain baguette.


  • 1 pound large dry sea scallops, (see Note)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced onion
  • 2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 8 ounces baby red potatoes, cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 5-ounce can tomato juice, (scant 3/4 cup)
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads, (see Note)
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon


Step 1
Pat scallops dry and sprinkle both sides with salt. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the scallops and cook until light brown, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate. Add onion, celery and garlic to the pan and cook, stirring, until just beginning to soften, about 2 minutes. Add wine and simmer for 1 minute. Stir in potatoes, broth, tomatoes, tomato juice and saffron and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until the potatoes are tender and the tomatoes are beginning to break down, 12 to 14 minutes.
Step 2
Return the scallops and any accumulated juices to the pan along with tarragon. Cover and cook until the scallops are just cooked through, 2 to 4 minutes.


Notes: Be sure to buy “dry” sea scallops (scallops that have not been treated with sodium tripolyphosphate, or STP). Scallops that have been treated with STP (“wet” scallops) have been subjected to a chemical bath and are not only mushy and less flavorful, but will not brown properly.


Literally the dried stigma from Crocus sativus, saffron is the world’s most expensive spice. Each crocus produces only 3 stigmas, requiring over 75,000 flowers for each pound of saffron. Fortunately, a little goes a long way. It’s used sparingly to add golden yellow color and flavor to a wide variety of Middle Eastern, African and European-inspired foods. Find it in the specialty-herb section of large supermarkets, gourmet-food shops and Wrapped in foil and placed in a container with a tight-fitting lid, it will keep in a cool, dry place for several years.

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