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DOLLYR_MG_5926 copyWhen put­ting togeth­er my Menu of Memor­ies to cel­eb­rate 22 years of the White House, this dish was high on my list of poten­tial stars. In the end I decided to save it for Fish­Head readers.

Scal­lop sea­son starts just before spring and the shell­fish is one of my favour­ite sea­son­al foods. Cauli­flower has a lovely affin­ity with scal­lops — with its del­ic­ate fla­vour, it is not over­power­ing. The crisps add tex­ture and col­our, and the salt­i­ness of the capers bal­ances the sweet­ness of the scal­lops. This dish is easy to pre­pare — in fact, it can be made in advance with the excep­tion of cook­ing the scal­lops. A per­fect dish to wow your din­ner guests!



Cauli­flower purée

  • 300g cauli­flower, trimmed
  • 250ml milk
  • 30g but­ter



  • 300g scal­lops, cleaned
  • 1 golden kūmara
  • 60ml cook­ing oil
  • 2 tbsp capers
  • Lem­on juice
  • Olive oil
  • Micro­greens to garnish
  • Black pep­per and sea salt



Cauli­flower purée (Can be made in advance)

  1. Cook the cauli­flower with milk until tender.
  2. Strain and reserve cook­ing liquid and blend until smooth with 1/3 of the cook­ing liquid and the butter.
  3. Sea­son with salt & pepper.


  1. Trim off the cor­al (the orange part) of the scal­lops and the muscle on the side.
  2. Thread the scal­lops onto soaked bam­boo skew­ers to make it easy to turn them dur­ing cooking.
  3. Peel and then shave the kūmara — aim for five shav­ings per person.
  4. Heat the cook­ing oil in a fry­ing pan, and when hot add the kūmara chips and fry until crispy. Remove and place onto a paper towel.
  5. Add the drained capers to the oil — they will puff and go crispy when they hit the hot oil. Remove onto a paper towel.
  6. Now cook the scal­lops — remove the oil from the fry­ing pan, then heat until very hot. Put the skewered, room tem­per­at­ure scal­lops into the pan. Cook them quickly — no more than one minute on each side should give good car­a­mel­isa­tion. Remove from the heat and put onto a paper towel.
  7. To serve, spoon some cauli­flower purée onto a warmed plate. Remove the scal­lops from the skew­ers and arrange on top of the purée (allow six per per­son), then gar­nish with the kūmara chips and capers, micro­greens, a squeeze of lem­on juice, a drizzle of olive oil, and a twist of pep­per and sea salt.

Serves 4–6

Paul Hoather

Paul started cooking in Nelson at 15, before heading overseas to the UK and Australia. Returning in the 1980s, he became head chef of restaurants including Champerelle and La Spaghettata, before opening the iconic White House in 1992. his food can be described as moder Kiwi influences from around the world. With a philosophy of freshness, he even grows herbs and lettuces on the restaurant roof. Hoather, his wife Louise, and their two dogs and avid hunters. Whether it is a week away trout fishing in Nelson or pheasant shooting up north, they both like nothing better than packing the tent and escaping to some secret spots.

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