Pan Seared Scallops with Cider Shallot Reduction and Cabbage Slaw

Hi everyone, Jess here with a quick recap of a tasty Winter CSA dinner.  

I really enjoyed this one.  The shallot and cider reduction was so scrumptious on the scallops and was a lovely balance to the creamy and crunchy slaw. 

The purple cabbage by itself would be too, well, cabbagey. But a sprinkle of salt on the shredded cabbage and a massage helps to draw out some of the liquid and stiffness of the cabbage (similar to how you’d start a sauerkraut). The carrots provide a welcome sweetness.  

If you have any rendered bacon fat (drippings left over from your Springdell Bacon), it makes for a wonderful way to sear your scallops and add a punch of flavor. Bacon-wrapped scallops are popular for a reason!

The cider reduction took a bit of time, but I found it to be worth it. The flavor of the shallot against the acid of the cider/vinegar made for a welcome change from the traditional squeeze of lemon.  

I grew up near the beach eating scallop plates with sweet cole slaw and tartar sauce. This dish to brought me to the next dimension. 

The vibrant colors of the slaw made me forget I was eating this dish mid-winter, even if just for a moment!


For the Slaw (adapted from the Kitchn)

  • 1/2 cabbage, shredded
  • kosher salt
  • 1 small carrot, grated
  • Minced and seeded jalapeƱo pepper (optional)
  • 2 tsp freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 generous tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Sugar, honey, or agave nectar (optional)
  • Freshly ground black pepper

For the Reduction

  • 1 cup cider 
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 small shallot (maybe 2 tbsp minced)

For the Scallops

  • Rendered bacon fat, or equal parts olive oil/butter
  • Scallops, coral removed (little tough muscle on the side), rinsed and patted dry, seasoned with salt and pepper as desired


For the reduction

Stir shallots in a medium saucepan for a minute (a spray of oil/tiny bit of butter can help if the saucepan isn’t non-stick.) Add the cider and vinegar.  Bring to a boil and boil until reduced to about 1/4 the liquid (maybe 15 minutes or so). Strain out the solids.

For the Slaw

Put your shredded cabbage in a colander/strainer, sprinkle with about 1/2 tsp of your salt.  Massage the cabbage until it starts to release liquid and wilt. Let it drain for about 15 minutes. 

Squeeze the cabbage with your hands to remove any extra liquid, place in a bowl with other ingredients and toss to combine. Sweeten/season to taste.

For the Scallops

Heat your skillet over medium-high heat and add bacon fat or oil, (see photo above).  Add scallops and sear them on both sides, about 2 minutes per side.

Serving suggestion

Add slaw to a plate, top with scallops, drizzle reduction over the dish.

About Jess

Jess Anderson is the creator of CSA|365 and is passionate about the local food movement. A long time member of Springdell and a busy mother of two, Jess loves keeping her family fed by honest local food.