Seared Scallops With Brown Butter Lemon Sauce and Roasted Cauliflower Purée

Serves 4.

Note: Dry-packed scallops are not always labeled as such; ask your fish monger. For the best searing, avoid super cheap butter that tends to have a higher water content. From Meredith Deeds.

• 1 small head cauliflower, trimmed and cut into florets (about 4 1/2 c.)

• 1 small yellow onion, sliced (about 1 c.)

• 2 tbsp. olive oil

• Salt and freshly ground black pepper

• 1/2 c. heavy cream

• 1/2 c. chicken broth

• 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

• Pinch nutmeg

• Pinch cayenne pepper

• 4 tbsp. unsalted butter (see Note)

• 2 tbsp. finely chopped shallots

• 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

• 1 tbsp. finely chopped Italian parsley

• 1 lb. dry-packed sea scallops (about 12 large; see Note)

• 1 tbsp. vegetable oil


For the cauliflower purée: Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place cauliflower and onion on a large rimmed baking sheet, toss with olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Roast, stirring hallway through, until vegetables are tender and browned in spots, about 20 minutes total.

Place the cream, broth, garlic, nutmeg and cayenne in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low, add roasted vegetables and simmer, stirring occasionally, for another 5 to 8 minutes, until vegetables are soft.

Remove from heat. Using a blender or immersion blender, blend vegetables and liquid until smooth. Return to the saucepan and re-season with more salt and pepper, if necessary. Just before serving, cover and warm over low heat.

For the sauce: In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring frequently, making sure to scrape bottom and sides of pan, until the butter begins to foam, about 3 to 4 minutes. Keep stirring the butter until the milk solids at the bottom of the pan turn a golden brown (do not let it get dark brown). Remove from heat and stir in shallots. Let it sizzle for about 10 to 15 seconds, then add lemon juice and parsley. Season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and keep warm.

For the scallops: Pat scallops dry and season with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Heat vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add scallops and cook without moving them until well browned on first side, 1 to 2 minutes. Carefully flip scallops and cook until seared on opposite side and medium-rare within, about 1 minute longer. Transfer scallops to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.

To serve, place a dollop of cauliflower purée on a serving plate, top with scallops, and drizzle with the sauce.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 400 Fat 33 g Sodium 840 mg

Carbohydrates 14 g Saturated fat 16 g Added sugars 0 g

Protein 16 g Cholesterol 90 mg Dietary fiber 3 g

Exchanges per serving: 1 carb, 2 lean protein, 6 fat.