Pan Fried Sea Scallops with Cauliflower Puree


(from maggiwun’s recipe box)

This cauliflower puree is so delicious

Categories: Appetisers, entrees


  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 4 oz philadelphia cheese
  • 1-1/2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 large head cauliflower, cut into 2-inch florets (about 3-1/2 cups)
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice; more to taste
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne; more to taste
  • 3 Tbs. canola oil; more as needed
  • 1/4 cup drained capers, patted dry
  • 1/2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
  • 1-1/4 lb. dry sea scallops, side muscle removed
  • 1 Tbs. unsalted butter; more as needed


  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 350°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with a clean kitchen towel.

  2. In a 2-quart saucepan, bring the cream and 1 tsp. of the thyme to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low, and cook until reduced to about 1/3 cup, 7 to 9 minutes.

  3. In a wide pot fitted with a steamer basket, bring about 2 inches of water to a boil. Add the cauliflower and season with 1/2 tsp. salt. Cover and steam until just tender, 8 to 10 minutes.

  4. Transfer the cauliflower to the prepared baking sheet and let dry for a few minutes. Remove the towel, letting the cauliflower fall onto the baking sheet, and bake the cauliflower until dry but not browned, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a blender, and add the cream, lemon juice, 1/2 tsp. salt, and the cayenne. Blend until smooth. Season to taste with salt, lemon juice, and cayenne. Keep warm.

  5. Heat 2 Tbs. of the oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the capers and the remaining 1/2 tsp. thyme, cover with a splatter shield (if you have one), and cook, stirring occasionally, until the capers are golden and puffed, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the lemon zest, cook for just a few seconds, and then, using a slotted spoon, transfer the capers, thyme, and zest to a paper-towel-lined plate.

  6. Pat the scallops dry. Heat a large cast-iron or other heavy-duty skillet over medium-high heat until very hot. Add the remaining 1 Tbs. oil and the butter. Season the scallops with salt. Working in batches if necessary to keep from crowding, cook the scallops, undisturbed, until very well browned on one side, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip and cook until just barely cooked through, 2 to 4 minutes more, depending on size. Transfer to a plate. Repeat, if necessary, wiping out the pan and adding more butter and oil as needed.

  7. Divide the cauliflower purée among serving plates, and top with the scallops. Garnish with the capers and parsley, and serve.

  8. *Addl possibilities for scallops:


  10. 1 ½ pounds large dry-packed sea scallops, about 24 pieces, tough muscle (foot) on the side removed from each

  11. Kosher salt
  12. 1 teaspoon black peppercorns, crushed

  13. 1 teaspoon green peppercorns(dried, not canned), crushed

  14. 1 teaspoon rose (pink) peppercorns, crushed, plus a few whole for garnish

  15. 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

  16. 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  17. 1 tablespoon amontillado or other dry sherry

  18. 6 ounces crème fraîche

  19. 1 teaspoon freshly grated lime zest

  20. 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest

  21. 1 tablespoon chopped mint or tiny mint leaves

  22. Email Grocery List


  24. Place scallops on baking sheet or large plate and season lightly on both sides with salt. Mix together crushed black, green and rose peppercorns and sprinkle liberally over scallops on both sides.

  25. Put oil in a skillet large enough to hold all scallops without crowding (or use two skillets or work in batches) over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, add scallops in one layer.

  26. Let scallops brown on one side, about 3 to 4 minutes. (Don’t rush or they will stick to pan and won’t brown properly.) Add butter and sherry, turn scallops and sear until cooked through, about 2 minutes more. Remove scallops to a serving platter and keep warm.

  27. Finish the sauce: Leaving skillet over medium-high heat, add crème fraîche. Simmer until slightly thickened, 2 minutes, then taste for salt.

  28. Spoon sauce over scallops and sprinkle with lime zest, lemon zest and mint. Garnish with a few whole rose peppercorns.


Email to a friend | Print this recipe | Back