Dinner Tonight: Seared Scallops with Cauliflower Puree


From Cooking Light: The New Way to Cook Light by Scott Mowbray and Ann Taylor Pittman, published by Oxmoor House Books.

“A hot pan is essential for searing scallops. It also helps prevent food from sticking. Be sure to add the oil when the pan is hot, just before adding the scallops. Otherwise, it will smoke and that’s bad for the oil. Patting the scallops dry before cooking also helps ensure a great seared crust.”

Seared Scallops with Cauliflower Puree

  • 2 cups chopped cauliflower florets
  • 1 cup cubed, peeled Yukon gold potato
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1-1⁄2 pounds sea scallops
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1-1⁄2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1⁄8 teaspoon crushed red pepper

Place first 4 ingredients in a saucepan, bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 6 minutes or until the potato is tender. Remove from heat. Let stand, uncovered, 10 minutes.

Heat a large skillet over high heat. Add oil to a frying pan, swirl to coat. Pat scallops dry with paper towels, sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and black pepper. Add scallops to pan and cook 3 minutes on each side or until done. Remove scallops from pan.

Pour cauliflower mixture into a blender. Add remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, butter and red pepper. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape), secure lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in lid (to avoid splatters). Blend until smooth. Serve puree with scallops.

Serves 4 (about 4 scallops and 1/2 cup puree).

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