Seared Scallops with Cauliflower Puree, Pine Nuts & Raisins

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seared-scallops-cauliflower-puree-pine-nuts-raisins

Seared Scallops with Cauliflower Puree, Pine Nuts & Raisins

This is a phenomenal sophisticated dish where the sweetness of caramelized scallops combine with the light-as-air cauliflower puree and acidic bite from fried capers. This conflagration of robust flavors and contrasting textures invariably propels this dish nearly to the top of the all-time favorites for my guests.

The star of the dish are scallops, as long as you master the preparation technique, you’ll be rewarded with your guests’ praise. Your perfect recipe to success is a very hot pan, excellent quality scallops and resisting the temptation to move the scallops around once they hit the pan. It’s that easy! Cauliflower puree can be assembled in advance and kept warm either in the oven or microwave, so as all the little garnishes you will choose to go with it. I find that it tastes best with sweet golden raisins, toasted pine nuts and briny fried capers.

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Ingredients: sea scallops, butter, olive oil, cauliflower, potatoes, vegetable broth, pine nuts, golden raisins, salt, pepper.

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Make the puree: Pour stock into a medium-size pod, add cauliflower, potatoes, and make sure that the liquid covers the vegetables. Season with salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover with the lid and simmer until potatoes are tender. Remove from heat.

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Transfer cauliflower and potatoes into a blender.

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Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, butter, and pepper. Blend until smooth. Keep warm.

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Sear the scallops: Heat the butter in a large frying pan over medium high-heat; add a splash of olive oil to prevent the butter from burning. Season scallops with salt and pepper and add them to the pan, without overcrowding.

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Cook scallops in two batches; if they touch they will steam rather than caramelize. Cook, without moving the scallops, until the bottoms are a rich golden brown, 2 minutes on each side. Turn the scallops and cook on the second side for another 1-2 minutes.

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To keep scallops warm, put them on a  wire rack and place into 200 F oven.

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Fry the capers: In a small non-stick frying pan heat some olive oil, add capers and fry for 5 minutes.

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seared-scallops-cauliflower-puree-pine-nuts-raisins

Bon Appétit!
Svitlana

Seared Scallops with Cauliflower Puree, Pine Nuts & Raisins

recipe details

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

For the scallops

  • 12 sea scallops (select same size scallops to the best of their availability and the color has to be beige pink rather than white)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the puree

  • 2 cup cauliflower florets
  • 2 cups Yukon Gold Potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth or water
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • ¼ teaspoon Aleppo pepper or pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Sea salt

Garnishing

  • ¼ cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 1/8 cup golden raisins, soaked
  • 3 tablespoons capers, fried
  • 3 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped

Directions

  1. Sear the scallops: Heat the butter in a large frying pan over medium high-heat; add a splash of olive oil to prevent the butter from burning. Season scallops with salt and pepper add them to the pan, without overcrowding. Kitchen tip: Cook scallops in two batches; if they touch they will steam rather than caramelize. Cook, without moving the scallops, until the bottoms are a rich golden brown, 2 minutes on each side. Turn the scallops and cook on the second side for another 1-2 minutes.
  2. Make the puree: Pour stock into a medium-size pod, add cauliflower, potatoes, and make sure that the liquid covers the vegetables. Season with salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover with the lid and simmer until potatoes are tender. Remove from heat. Transfer cauliflower and potatoes into a blender. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, butter, and pepper. Blend until smooth. Keep warm.
  3. Toast the nuts: In a small non-stick frying pan toast the nuts for 4 minutes on a medium-low heat, shaking the pan often, until nuts are golden brown but not burned. Set aside on a paper towel, do not leave them in a flying pan, otherwise they’ll continue cooking.
  4. Fry the capers: In a small non-stick frying pan heat some olive oil, add capers and fry for 5 minutes.
  5. To serve, scoop a spoonful of the puree in each plate, top it with 2-3 scallops, drizzle lightly with olive oil. Scatter some pine nuts, raisins and capers, sprinkle with chopped parsley.

share your thoughts

12 thoughts on “Seared Scallops with Cauliflower Puree, Pine Nuts & Raisins”

  1. Just made this and it was delicious! I didn’t use the raisins though and I put lobster oil on at the end as well….ymmy!

    1. Hi Jenny, thank you so much for trying my recipe. Raisins are totally optional, as long as you master searing scallops, you can play with ingredients in so many ways. I made a delicious lobster salad yesterday which I can’t wait to share on the blog but I’ve never tried lobster oil, where did you find it?

    1. Hi Jessica, it is one of my favorite combinations scallops with cauliflower puree, i am so happy you liked it! Please let me know what you are craving & I will direct you to the right recipe on the blog. Happy cooking! :)))

  2. Wonderful recipe ! Very gourmet but yet so easy to make ! Made this for my daughter birthday brunch today along with your crab cake recipe ! Great Success!!

    1. Dear Esfir, thank you so much for trying my recipes! Seared scallops remains one of my favorite on the blog, it has that classic combination of flavors that everyone usually loves. So happy to hear that both recipes were a success! Happy Happy Birthday to your girl!

    1. Heather, thank you so much for giving my scallops a try! It is indeed a good recipe! The most important is to master searing technique, there is a similar version that looks fancy but is also super easy to make- purple potato puree, fennel & orange segments salad and seared scallops served on a scallop shell. Let me know if you need help navigating the blog and what to cook next! I’ll be happy to see you here again. :)

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