Pan-fried scallops with cauliflower vanilla purée

Pan-fried scallops with cauliflower vanilla purée

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(4 ratings)


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Cooking time

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 25 mins

Skill level

Moderately easy


Serves 2

Vanilla pairs beautifully with the creamy mellow flavour of cauliflower and the sweetness of caramelised scallops

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition info


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  • 140g cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 150ml milk
  • ½ vanilla pod, seeds scraped out
  • 2 knobs of unsalted butter
  • 4 slices pancetta
  • drizzle maple syrup
  • 50g fresh porcini or chestnut mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 6 scallops, with or without roe, it's up to you
  • a few chives, snipped, to serve

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  1. Put the cauliflower, milk, vanilla pod and its seeds into a small saucepan with a pinch of salt. Cover and simmer for 10 mins until the cauliflower is tender. Drain the cauliflower, reserving the milk and discarding the vanilla pod. Whizz the cauliflower until smooth in a food processor, adding a knob of butter, seasoning and enough reserved milk to make a nice, smooth consistency. This can be made up to a day ahead, then reheated in a pan or microwave.
  2. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Cover a baking tray with a sheet of baking paper, lay the pancetta on top and cook for 8-10 mins until crisp. Drain on kitchen paper, drizzle with maple syrup and set aside until serving. 3 Fry the porcini in half the olive oil in a hot pan for about 4 mins until starting to brown. Keep warm.
  3. Heat the remaining oil and butter in a frying pan and season the scallops. Fry the scallops for 1-1½ mins on each side over a high heat until caramelised. To assemble, spoon the purée onto plates, top with porcini, scallops and pancetta, then sprinkle with chives.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, January 2010

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Birkit's picture
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Great starter, we do leave the mushroom out though.

andyholland's picture
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Fantastic starter, our guests loved it, we made too much purée so froze it, even better second time around.

katieb47's picture

Saw this recipe and thought it would be a good starter when I have guests over the Christmas period so had a trial this evening - was very simple and very tasty! Points to note - think it needed a little more salt and a bit more vanilla (my vanilla pod was small so I think I should have used a whole one). My puree wasn't quite smooth enough but can easily whizz it more next time (used a hand blender). Nice and light too, which is a bonus during the over indulgence at Christmas. Definitely one to add to my repertoire.

amandathomas's picture

excellent starter really impressed my friends