- 3 lemons
- Small handful of chives
- 12 large dry sea scallops
- Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
- Extra-virgin olive oil or vegetable oil
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 2 teaspoons drained capers
- Cut 2 lemons in half and squeeze juice into a measuring glass or small bowl; you should have 1/4 cup juice. Set aside.
- Using a paring knife, cut ends off remaining lemon to expose flesh. Upend lemon on a cut end and remove peel and white pith from lemons; discard. Cut between membranes to release segments into the bowl with juice; squeeze membranes to get any last drops of juice. Fish out any seeds; set aside.
- Thinly slice chives and place in a small bowl; set aside.
- Pull side muscle off scallops, if needed; pat dry. Season lightly on both sides with salt and pepper.
- Heat a large skillet, preferably stainless steel, over medium-high. Pour in oil to lightly coat surface (2–3 Tbsp.); heat until it shimmers and you see first wisps of smoke.
- Swiftly place scallops into the skillet, flat side down, and cook without touching, tossing, or fussing until underside is deep golden brown, 3–4 minutes. Use a thin spatula or tongs to gently turn over; if they resist, cook another 30 seconds and try again.
- Cook on the second side until flesh at top and bottom looks opaque but there is still a faintly translucent strip in the middle, 1–2 minutes, depending on size. Transfer scallops to a plate.
- Pour off any oil in the skillet and set over medium heat. Add butter and cook, swirling, until butter foams, then browns, about 2 minutes.
- Add reserved lemon juice and segments; energetically stir and swirl pan to emulsify sauce.
- Mix in capers and reserved chives and spoon pan sauce around and over scallops.