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Seared Scallops and Cauliflower Grits

Serves: Makes 4 servings


  • Cauliflower Grits:
  • Sea salt
  • 1 medium head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 2 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • Scallops:
  • 2 medium whole tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons grape seed oil
  • 16 sea scallops, patted dry
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 2 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced, for garnish
  • Coarse ground black pepper, to taste (optional)


For the cauliflower: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add cauliflower and simmer for about 10 minutes until very tender. Drain cauliflower, reserving about 1/2 cup cooking liquid. Return cauliflower to pot. Using a potato masher, mash cauliflower with cream cheese, Parmesan and garlic. Add cooking water a few tablespoons at a time to adjust consistency, if needed. Season with salt and pepper. Keep warm covered in pot.

For scallops: Juice tomatoes, pepper and carrot. Reserve pulp for another use. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season scallops with salt and pepper and add to pan in one layer. Sear the scallops for 2 to 3 minutes on each side until golden. Remove scallops to a platter. Reduce heat to medium-low and add remaining oil to skillet. Add shallot and sauté until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and smoked paprika and cook, stirring constantly, for about 1 minute. Slowly whisk in vegetable juice and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until thickened, about 4 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

To serve: Serve scallops on top of cauliflower grits with sauce spooned on top. Garnish with scallions and extra black pepper.

Click to download a printable version of this recipe »

by Joel Gamoran, Sur La Table National Chef

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