Coquille St. Jacques au Naturel

Monday August 17, 2009

Remember when in the food world all the recipe titles were in French? Well, here is one left over from the good old days, originally created by Simone Beck, known as Simca to the French culinary world. It is a recipe I used to make all the time for catering my business clients for it is fast and easy. The scallops are baked with shallots and the superbly simple dish is so nice you will never miss the calorie-laden cream sauce,usually napping scallops. Scallops combine the qualities of sweet meatiness and with a melt in your mouth texture. Simca would make breadcrumbs from stale homemade bread, but you can use packaged dry breadcrumbs just as well.


  • Cooking Method: Oven
  • Cook Time: 12 to 15 minutes
  • Serves 4


  • 1 1/2-pounds bay or sea scallops, rinsed and patted dry
  • Salt and freshly ground black or white pepper
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 small or 2 large shallots, minced
  • 1/3 cup dry breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped, plus more for serving, if desired


Preheat the oven to 375º. Bay scallops can stay whole. If you have to use sea scallops instead of the small bay scallops, cut in half or thirds. Butter 4 individual gratin dishes or 4-inch ceramic ramekins and divide the scallops equally between them. Season lightly. In a small skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Sauté the shallots until soft, about 4 minutes. Spoon the shallots and butter over the scallops. Sprinkle each with about 2 tablespoons of the bread crumbs. Arrange the dishes or ramekins on a baking sheet and set in the center of the preheated oven. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until tender when pierced with the tip of a knife. Place each dish on an individual dinner plate, sprinkle with the parsley, and serve immediately.

Excerpted from Not Your Mother’s Weeknight Cooking, copyright 2008, by Beth Hensperger, used by permission from The Harvard Common Press.

Recipe and text copyright Beth Hensperger 2015

Please enjoy the recipe and make it your own. If you copy the recipe and text for internet use, please include my byline and link to my site.

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