Sea Scallops with Cauliflower Puree and Brown Butter Breadcrumbs

This dish from Lindsay's Feast looks very impressive - it's your chance to imitate fine dining in your own home! It is simple enough to make and you can choose whether you serve it as a main course or an appetizer. 

Ingredients

For the Breadcrumbs
2 tsp. unsalted butter
3 tbsp. breadcrumbs
1 tbsp. lemon zest

For the Cauliflower Puree
1 head of cauliflower
30ml single cream
1 tsp. lemon juice
salt to taste

For the Scallops
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
12 – 20 scallops (I allow 3 – 5 scallops per person)
2 tbsp Vermouth/white wine
80ml chicken stock

To Serve
A Handful of fresh parsley leaves or chopped chives 

Method

Start by making the breadcrumbs. These can be prepared a day or two in advance and kept in an airtight container. Place the butter in large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and cook until it turns a nutty golden brown. Add the breadcrumbs and keep moving them around for about 2 minutes, until they turn golden brown and crispy. Remove from the heat and stir through the lemon zest. 

Next make the cauliflower puree. In a large saucepan, bring a pot of salted water to the boil. Break the cauliflower head into small florets. Put a few of the florets to one side and add the rest to the pan. Cook until they are just tender, which should take about 10 minutes. Once cooked, drain and blend to a smooth puree. Stir through the lemon juice, followed by the cream. Add salt to taste. Keep the puree warm, while you prepare the rest of the dish.

Use a paper towel to pat the scallops dry and season with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tbsp butter and 1 tbsp olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan. Add the reserved cauliflower florets and cook for about 1 minute until they’re just starting to brown. Remove from the pan and put to one side. If necessary, add a little more butter and oil to the pan and when the butter starts to foam, add the scallops. Fry for 2 minutes on each side. You may need to do this in batches, depending on how many scallops your using. Be careful not to overcook them. They should be barely cooked in the centre. Remove from the pan and put to one side.

With the pan still on the heat, add the vermouth, followed by the chicken stock and boil for a few minutes, stirring every now and then. Remove from the heat. 

Spoon the cauliflower puree into large shallow bowls. Arrange the scallops and fried cauliflower florets over the top. Pour the stock sauce over the scallops (You could strain this through a sieve first if you wish). Scatter over the breadcrumbs and parsley. Serve straight away.

Scallops