Scallops with Lemon Sage Cream Sauce & Scarborough Fair Rice

Scallops with Lemon Sage Cream Sauce & Scarborough Fair Rice

I love scallops - particularly big juicy sea scallops. They're meaty and delicious and can be paired with almost anything. This recipe has a lot of flavor and a lot of flexibility. Although it uses a cream-based sauce, only a small amount is added to each serving, keeping the fat and calories down without sacrificing flavor. The herbs in the rice (inspired by Simon & Garfunkel's song, "Scarborough Fair") are flavorful and the lemon zest adds a freshness that really shines in this dish. 

If you're thinking of substituting lemon juice for the zest, be careful when you add it to the cream, as it has a tendency to curdle the cream. I'd stick with the zest, but it's your life and your kitchen - you can do what you want to.

I've paired this with rice, but you could easily substitute that with any kind of pasta. I prefer a long pasta like fettuccine or linguini for this, but a short pasta will do just fine. In fact, if I were pairing this with pasta, I'd do three things differently:

  1. Double the sauce recipe so you coat the pasta with the sauce.
  2. Add the pasta to the sauce a couple of minutes before it's fully cooked and finish cooking it in the sauce.
  3. Cook the scallops in the cream sauce.



1 pound of sea scallops
kosher salt & white pepper
2 TBSP Olive Oil


2 TBSP unsalted butter
1/2 cup chopped shallots
8 sage leaves, cut chiffonade
2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup white wine
1 TBSP Lemon Zest 
Kosher salt & Pepper to taste


2 cups cooked long grain white rice
2 TBSP chopped fresh parsley (Plus more for garnish)
1 TBSP chopped fresh sage
1 TBSP chopped fresh rosemary
1 TBSP chopped fresh thyme


To time this well, start your rice cooking and then cook the scallops and cream while that's happening. The rice should be done when you're ready to plate it.
  1. Cook rice according to the directions on the package. You have flexibility here - you can choose the type of rice you want and make it as you like it. Cook it in vegetable broth, in plain water with a dash or salt, or add a tablespoon of butter to the water when cooking. Go crazy.
  2. After rice is cooked and has rested for 5 minutes, add the herbs and stir it up to distribute herbs evenly throughout the rice.
  3. While rice is cooking, rinse the scallops with cold water and pat dry.
  4. Sprinkle salt and pepper lightly on each side. 
  5. Heat the olive oil in a saute pan on medium heat.
  6. Place scallops in the pan and cook 1 1/2-2 minutes per side. 
  7. Remove scallops when fully cooked. They should be lightly seared on each side, firm and opaque.
  8. Keep the scallops on a plate loosely covered with foil to keep warm.
  9. In a medium sauce pan, melt the butter over medium heat.
  10. Add shallots and sage. Stir and saute for 2-3 minutes. 
  11. Add wine and cook for 1 minute.
  12. Add cream and bring to a boil.
  13. Reduce heat and continue to cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  14. Remove from heat and add lemon zest. Stir.
  15. Add salt & pepper to taste


  1. Plate the rice and add 3-4 scallops per serving on top. Drizzle a few tablespoons of the cream sauce on top of the scallops.
  2. Enjoy!

I'm Catherine, a small-space urban gardener in New Jersey (Zone 7a) who started gardening out of upcycled wooden wine boxes. For years, I wanted to try gardening, but didn't know where to start. I got up the nerve to give it a try - starting small with a single wooden wine box that turned an idea into reality. That reality quickly turned into my filling every sunny inch of space of my postage-stamp size lawn and turning it into a garden oasis. I grow mostly vegetables and herbs with some exception for fruits (when the squirrels and rabbits don't get to them first). I love learning from gardening communities (and lots of trial and error).

I hope one day to take all that I'm learning and apply it to a larger plot of land. To help me get there, I'm extending my learning through the University of Massachusetts, Stockbridge School of Agriculture's, Sustainable Food & Farming program. (I'm addicted to learning as much as I am to gardening.)

This blog isn't just for gardeners (although I hope it inspires some of you to try growing a plant or two). The recipes (food & cocktails) in theRecipes section of this blog contain ingredients that don't have to come from your own backyard. If you like visiting your local farmer's market(or even your grocery store) and would like to get some new recipes you can use with the fresh produce and herbs you get from your local growers, this blog will have plenty for you too.

In addition to gardening and cooking, I also love to visit and photograph my surroundings. I feel fortunate to have so many amazing places here in New York/New Jersey, where I live and work. Visits to local farms, farmer's markets, and cycling through rural farming areas help me feel connected and refreshed. share these experiences in theExploring section of the blog so that you might visit through proxy or be inspired enough to visit yourself. 

With very few exceptions, all of the photographs on this site are ones I have taken myself. (For the photographers out there, I shoot with a Canon 7D and sometimes with my Lumix  DMC-ZS15 compact camera.) 

I hope this blog inspires you to grow, create, explore, and try something new. The best way to stay up-to-date is to follow me using the social buttons above, or click Subscribe and sign up for my email newsletters.    

Happy Gardening and Healthful Living!

- Catherine