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scallops wine and herbs with parmesan toasts


Living in coastal New England, Jack and I know that we are so fortunate to have easy access to fresh, local seafood with a great fish market not too far from our home. After seeing some sea scallops on sale recently, we decided to make today’s Scallops alla Veneziana with Parmesan Toasts.

This recipe for Scallops alla Veneziana with Parmesan Toasts originally appeared here on A Family Feast back in November 2012, shortly after we started writing this blog. The post (and especially the photos) were long overdue for an update, and it was so fun to make this recipe again after so many years! This fantastic dish has very sentimental memories for Jack and me – it was one of the recipes I cooked for Jack when we first started dating (and it’s so good, it may have been another reason he wanted to marry me)! 😉

sauteed scallops

These Scallops alla Veneziana with Parmesan Toasts will rival any scallops dish you’d order at a restaurant. Plump sea scallops are sautéed in a delicate sauce of lemon juice, olive oil, vermouth, garlic, and a small amount of minced, fresh, hot peppers for some gentle heat, and fresh chopped parsley is added at the end. The scallops take just minutes to cook, then they are served with crisp Parmesan toasts that are perfect for sopping up every last drop of the amazing sauce.


Scallops Alla Veneziana with Parmesan Toasts - Scallops sauteed in a light sauce of vermouth, herbs and lemon. Fantastic!

This recipe was adapted from a recipe that was originally published in The Nantucket Table cookbook.  The author, Susan Simon, learned to cook scallops in this manner while spending time in Venice, Italy, and she named the recipe after the city that inspired her cooking.

After one delicious bite of these Scallops alla Veneziana with Parmesan Toasts, I think you’ll agree that this recipe should not stay hidden in the bottom of our recipe box for another five years.

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Scallops Alla Veneziana with Parmesan Toasts - A Family Feast

Scallops Alla Veneziana with Parmesan Toasts

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings


For the Parmesan Toasts

  • 1 loaf ciabatta bread
  • 1/4 cup (or less) extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese freshly grated

For the Scallops

  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh hot pepper such as jalapeño or cayenne, finely minced
  • 1/2 cup dry white vermouth
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 pounds sea scallops, muscle removed
  • 2 tablespoons fresh flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • Kosher salt, to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. To prepare the Parmesan toasts: Slice the ciabatta bread on a diagonal ¼ inch thick. Brush each piece with olive oil and place bread oiled side down on a sheet pan. Sprinkle the dry side with the Parmesan cheese and drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil over the top of each piece. Bake for 10-15 minutes until crisp.
  3. While the Parmesan toasts are baking, heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium to medium-high heat and add in the garlic and hot peppers. Sauté for 1-3 minutes or until the garlic starts to turn golden (do not brown garlic).
  4. Pour in the vermouth and lemon juice and simmer for 2-3 more minutes.
  5. Place the sea scallops in the same pan making sure they do not touch each other. (Cook in two batches if necessary so the pan is not over crowded.) Sauté the scallops for about 2 minutes and then turn. Sauté for an additional 2-3 minutes until done. Do not over cook the scallops or they will become rubbery. Test by poking on a scallop. If it bounces back, they are done. Depending on the size and thickness of your scallops, the cooking time will vary. Again, the trick is not to over cook them so it is better to undercook them a little as they will continue to cook a little more in their own heat after removing them from the pan.
  6. Immediately remove the scallops to a serving platter. Stir in the chopped parsley and salt to the sauce. Pour any liquid that accumulated in the plate with the scallops and pour back into the pan. Use a small whip and whip this sauce until smooth and creamy. Pour the sauce over the scallops and serve with the Parmesan toasts.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

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Scallops Alla Veneziana with Parmesan Toasts - Scallops sauteed in a light sauce of vermouth, herbs and lemon. Fantastic!

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