1. In a large pan over medium-high heat, heat 2 1/2 Tbsp. of the oil. When oil is shimmering, add leeks and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer leeks to a plate lined with paper towels. Sprinkle with 1/4 tsp. of the salt and set aside.
2. Reduce heat to medium and add shallots to skillet. Cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes. Add thyme and cook 1 minute. Add cider and scrape up browned bits in pan. Raise heat to high and add Champagne or sparkling wine. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and simmer until liquid is reduced by half, about 10 to 12 minutes. Pour sauce through a sieve set over a medium bowl, pressing on solids in sieve to release all the juices.
3. In same pan, add 1 1/2 Tbsp. of the oil and heat over medium-high heat. Season the scallops with pepper and remaining 1/4 tsp. salt. Add half the scallops to pan and cook until browned, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and tent with foil. Repeat with remaining scallops, adding remaining 1 Tbsp. oil if needed. After scallops are done cooking, discard any remaining oil in pan.
4. Pour Champagne sauce into pan and heat over medium-high heat, scraping up browned bits. Whisk in the butter. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper if desired.
5. To serve, place 3 scallops on each of 8 small plates. Spoon sauce around and over scallops. Top with reserved leeks and pomegranate seeds and chives, if using.
Source: Hannaford fresh Magazine, November - December 2013