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!
- 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)
- Cook the cauliflower with milk until tender.
- Strain and reserve cooking liquid and blend until smooth with 1/3 of the cooking liquid and the butter.
- Season with salt & pepper.
- Trim off the coral (the orange part) of the scallops and the muscle on the side.
- Thread the scallops onto soaked bamboo skewers to make it easy to turn them during cooking.
- Peel and then shave the kūmara — aim for five shavings per person.
- 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.
- Add the drained capers to the oil — they will puff and go crispy when they hit the hot oil. Remove onto a paper towel.
- 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.
- 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.