On a large plate, mix together the pepperoncini, flour, cornmeal, thyme, and salt and pepper to taste.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the sweet fern (or fresh sage leaves) and steep it in butter until it becomes fragrant. Keep the butter warm over very low heat.
Heat a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil to the skillet and swirl to heat it evenly. Sauté the scallops in the hot oil, flipping them once, for about 3 minutes on each side, or until the cornmeal crust turns a golden brown.
Turn the scallops out onto paper towels or brown paper bags to drain off some of the oil. Serve immediately, topped with the sweet fern butter sauce.
Coat the scallops in the cornmeal mixture, covering all surfaces.