24 April 2012

Caramelized Scallops & Thyme Roasted Tomatoes over Cauliflower Puree

All three parts to this dish - the scallops, the tomatoes, and the cauliflower puree - I've made before, but had never thought to combine them until last night. The tomatoes are so easy, and are fantastic with roast chicken or any kind of meaty white fish. I made the cauliflower puree for the first time in a desperate, I-can't-eat-anymore-canned-soup-or-jello moment a few days after I had my wisdom teeth pulled. It tastes, miraculously, just like mashed potatoes. Seriously. And I don't even like cauliflower. And finally, who doesn't like caramelized scallops? Incredibly easy, incredibly healthy, and so, so good. 

The rich, creamy puree goes well with the acidity of the tomatoes, and the slightly sweet, slightly crispy scallops tie the whole thing together. I like this with a lemon wedge on the side, to give just the hint of a sauce - the dish really doesn't need anything else. 

2/3 lb scallops
1 tbsp sugar
salt and pepper
lemon wedges

1/2 - 2/3 cup sugar plum tomatoes (or any sweet baby tomatoes)
2 tsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
salt and pepper

2/3 cup cauliflower, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp milk

for the puree:
combine cauliflower and garlic in a small bowl and microwave until tender, about 3 minutes
add milk and blend, until silky

for the tomatoes:
preheat oven to 375 degrees
toss tomatoes with oil, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper
spread out on foil-lined baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes, until shriveled

for the scallops:
sprinkle scallops with salt and pepper
sprinkle the top and bottom of each scallop with sugar (don't need much)
heat a large pan over medium-high heat, and coat with cooking spray or a tsp or two of olive oil
arrange scallops on pan so that they aren't touching (they won't caramelize if they are!)
cook for 2-3 minutes without moving, then flip each scallop over and cook for another 2-3 minutes

divide puree in half and scoop onto two dishes
arrange scallops and tomatoes on top, and serve with lemon wedges.

2 servings

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