Seared Scallops with Steamed Cauliflower Puree and Grilled Asparagus
by Beth Pladson
Cauliflower and asparagus season are coming to an end soon, so here’s a great recipe to try before they’re all gone!
(Editor’s note: This recipe originally appeared in our Winter 2014 e-newsletter, and is so popular on Pinterest, we thought we’d revisit it!)
Pan Seared Scallops
- 1 lb medium to large sea scallops
- Olive oil to generously coat pan
- 1–2 tsp butter
- 1 head cauliflower
- 3 cloves garlic, roughly diced
- ½ cp onion, roughly diced
- Oil to coat pan
- ½ cp broth
- 1 lb asparagus
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Shredded parmesan cheese, if desired
- Red pepper flakes, if desired
Scallops. Pat dry the scallops. Heat oil and butter in a pan over high medium heat. Gently place the scallops in the pan, with room in between each; they need lots of personal space! After about 2–3 minutes, check the bottom of the scallop. It should be a nice brown. If not, keep cooking. Otherwise, turn. Cook on that side for the same amount of time. It’s crucial to not overcook them, or else you’ll end up with rubbery scallops. Press down on them gently. They should feel similar to the meaty part of your palm near your thumb when your hand is open, but relaxed. When you cut them open, they should still be moist and juicy.
Cauliflower puree. Either boil or steam the cauliflower until soft. About 8–10 minutes. While it’s cooking, sauté the garlic and onion until it’s fragrant. About 6 minutes. Place all ingredients, plus the broth, into a blender. You may need more or less broth, depending on how thick you want the puree to be. Blend until smooth, or whatever your desired consistency is.
Asparagus. Wash and trim the asparagus. Place in boiling water or steam, whichever your preferred method is. You want to make sure not to overcook the asparagus. Test it with a sharp knife or fork. Once it reaches a dark green, and is still crunchy, remove from water.
To assemble, spoon some puree onto a plate. Place 3 scallops on the puree and lay the asparagus beside, on top… wherever you like. If desired, sprinkle some freshly grated parmesan cheese and a small amount of red pepper flakes.
Note about scallops. Diver scallops are harvested by divers, taking only mature scallops and leaving the rest. Some scallops are procured via trawling the sea floor, which is much more disruptive. Dayboat scallops are truly the freshest, meaning they are harvested and quickly brought to shore for sale. (Via reluctantgourmet.com)