Scallops Provençal; The Christmas Truce

Are you familiar with the Christmas Truce?

It’s one of those stories we should remember. Read about it after the recipe.

Tender scallops, quickly sautéed and finished with a tomato, white wine and tarragon sauce make an easy main course.

You can use either the small (bay) scallops or the larger (sea) scallops in this dish, and all shrimp or no shrimp. I like flexible dishes

Baking and serving from individual casseroles makes a lovely presentation.

Scallops Provençal

Total time: 40 minutes


  • 8oz (240gr) scallops
  • 4oz (120gr) shrimp
  • 4 tsp olive oil
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 4oz (120gr) mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 15oz (450gr) whole tomatoes, drained, chopped (save sauce / juice for another use)
  • 1/4 cup (2oz, 60ml) white wine
  • 2 tbs tomato paste
  • 1 tsp dried tarragon
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tbs Balsamic vinegar

Scallops Provencal


  • Heat 2 tsp oil in medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add scallops and sauté until light brown and opaque, being careful not to crowd.  They sometimes have a lot of water in them and you want them sautéed, not steamed.
  • As they brown remove them and put them into 2 individual, shallow casseroles or one larger one.
  • In same pan sauté shrimp until they start to curl and turn opaque.  Put into casseroles with scallops.
  • Add remaining 2 tsp oil to pan along with the shallot, garlic and mushrooms.  Sauté until shallots are tender and starting to brown.
  • Add tomatoes, wine, tomato paste and herbs.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes.
  • Add vinegar to sauce and stir.
  • Spoon sauce over scallops and shrimp.
  • Bake at 400F (200C) for 10 minutes, until heated through.  Serve directly from casseroles.  If using individual casseroles place them in a baking sheet for easy handling. 

Print Recipe

There’s a new memorial in Flanders this week.

It’s an iron sculpture depicting a European football sitting on top of a shattered shell.

100 years ago this Christmas the German and British soldiers fighting each other in the trenches on the Western Front decided to stop.

Much to the dismay of their superiors they arranged a truce amongst themselves.

During the week leading up to Christmas German and British soldiers had been crossing the lines.

At dawn on Christmas Day a British officer and a German officer lay down their guns, climbed out of their trenches and shook hands.

A two day truce was agreed.

Both sides retrieved and buried their dead, exchanged greetings, photographs, and even a few prisoners.

Then someone found a football.

Before long the two sides, who just hours earlier had been trying to kill one another, were engaged in a friendly football match.

The Germans won 3 – 2.

Both sides sang Christmas carols, lit candles, shared their meager supplies and, in their muddy, freezing trenches on either side of no-man’s land, did their best to celebrate Christmas.

Think about that this season…….

To read more about this amazing determination to stay human in the face of overwhelming odds, read one account here or search The Christmas Truce.

Last update on December 12, 2014

8 thoughts on “Scallops Provençal; The Christmas Truce”

  1. I love scallops. Definitely will be making this one 🙂

    Have you seen Sainsbury’s 2014 Christmas commercial yet? It’s up on youtube. It’s a wonderful nod to this very event. I didn’t want to post the link in case you’d rather not have it here, but you should watch it.

  2. Tanna, there is usually a reading on one of the British Christmas shows about it. Scallops are good 😉

    Ina, rice pilaf would be delicious…. I usually do rice or quinoa with it.

    Nightsmusic, I just watched it…. Brings a tear, doesn’t it?

    Kate, makes one believe we can all be human…

  3. I love scallops, but have never really thought of mixing them with tomatoes. It seems it might overwhelm them, but from your photo, which is making me salivate, I may change my mind!

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