Recipe: Scallops Roasted in their Shells, à la Grenobloise

by Alice White Walker
scallops in their shells, topped with a dressing

Who better to turn to than Alain Ducasse for a lesson in classic French bistro food? His book, Classic French Comfort Food, is an homage to three of the Parisian bistros he manages – Allard, Aux Lyonnais and Benoît. Each one an institution in its own right, they have been serving up authentic dishes to Parisians and visitors for over a century.


A starter that never fails to impress, scallops can always be counted on to bring the wow-factor. Made with capers, lemon peel and butter, a sauce à la Grenobloise is the definitive partner to myriad fish dishes. Master its formula and you’ll never look back.

Read on for an Alain Ducasse recipe that will delight everyone’s tastebuds.

scallops in their shells, topped with a dressing

Scallops Roasted in their Shells, à la Grenobloise

Alice White Walker A starter that never fails to impress, scallops can always be counted on to bring the wow-factor. Recipes Recipe: Scallops Roasted in their Shells, à la Grenobloise European Print This
Serves: 4 Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat
Rating: 5.0/5
( 1 voted )


  • 20 king scallops
  • 1 shallot
  • Scallop frills (side muscles)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 20 g – 2.47 ounces (5 tablespoons) butter
  • 1 clove pink garlic
  • 1 bouquet garni
  • 200 ml – 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon dry white wine
  • 200ml – 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon white chicken stock
  • 2 lemons
  • 1/4 bunch flat-leaf parsley
  • 100 g – 3.53 ounces (3 1/3 cups) sandwich bread cubes (about 3 1/2 slices)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 30 g – 1.06 ounces (1/4 cup) small capers
  • 50 g – 1.76 ounces (3 ½ tablespoons) butter
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Lemon Juice



One day ahead, carefully open  the scallops and  remove their frills (side muscles). Discard  the intestines. Ensure that  the scallops are well attached to their shells. Rinse with water  and drain on a rack. Reserve in the refrigerator for 12 hours. Purge their frills of impurities by soaking in water for 12 hours at room temperature until they turn  translucent.



The  day of  serving, coarsely  slice the unpeeled  shallot. Sauté the scallop  frills to release their residual water and drain in a strainer (sieve). Heat the olive oil and 20g – 0.71 ounce (1 1/2 tablespoons) butter in a Dutch oven (cast-iron casserole). Sear the frills to color well, then add the shallot, unpeeled  garlic, and bouquet garni. Deglaze with the wine and reduce by one-third. Add the chicken stock and reduce by half. Pour the contents of the pan into a strainer and filter the sauce through a conical strainer into a bowl. Set aside.



Use  a vegetable  peeler* to remove  the zest from the lemons,  then julienne the zest. Supreme the lemons over a bowl to collect  the juice. Cut the sections into a small dice. Blanch the julienned zest two times in  boiling water, then confit in the lemon juice for 10 minutes over low heat and set aside. Mince the parsley leaves.  

Toast the bread cubes in a skillet or frying  pan with olive oil and drain the capers.



Preheat the oven to 180°C – 350°F (gas mark 4). Melt the butter in a saucepan and make a beurre noisette*. Set aside. Season the scallops with a little olive oil, salt, and a turn of the pepper mill, and roast in the  oven for 10 minutes. Add the beurre noisette to the sauce and beat, then add a dash of lemon juice. Arrange a little grenobloise condiment over each scallop, cover with sauce, add some croutons, and  serve.


Wine suggestion: a white Loire Valley wine, such as Pouilly-Fumé.


the cover of Alain Duccasse's book 'Bistro"Bistro: Classic French Comfort Food

Written by Alain Ducasse
Published by Rizzoli
Photography by Pierre Monetta
$ 35


Find more Ducasse recipes in the May/June 2020 edition of My French Country Home.



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