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Scallops with Mushrooms and Cauliflower Puree

Peter Olson/The Globe and Mail

We foraged the mushrooms for this, but you can use any kind of interesting mushroom you can find. The scallops at Fogo Island Inn were glazed with a little brown butter, but the dish is just as good without it.

Servings: 4

Ready time: 45

Cauliflower purée

3 cups small cauliflower florets, about 1/2 a head

1 cup water

1 cup milk

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1/4 tsp grated lemon zest

Pinch of cayenne pepper

Scallops and mushrooms

3 tbsp butter

4 oz (125 g) chanterelle, hen of the woods, baby oyster or other mushrooms

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 tsp lemon juice

12 large scallops, about 10 to 15 per lb (450 g)

Brown butter sauce (optional)

3 tbsp butter

Garnish

Baby kale, spinach, arugula leaves or dandelion leaves

Method

Combine cauliflower, milk and water in a pot. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 to 12 minutes or until the cauliflower is very soft. Using a slotted spoon, transfer cauliflower to a blender or food processor. Add 1/2 cup milk mixture, lemon zest and cayenne and purée until smooth. Mixture should be soft enough to spread on a plate. Add more milk mixture if needed. Reserve, keeping warm.

Heat 2 tbsp butter in a skillet over high heat. Add mushrooms and sauté until softened, about 3 minutes. Add salt, pepper and lemon juice. Keep warm.

Heat 1 tbsp butter in a heavy cast iron or non-stick skillet over high heat. Add scallops, but do not crowd the pan (use two pans or work in batches if necessary). Sear for about 2 to 3 minutes or until very brown. Flip over, seared side up, and remove pan from heat. Let scallops sit for 3 minutes in hot pan. Remove from pan to a plate. If making brown butter sauce, add butter into pan and let it cook until it turns a nut-brown colour, about 4 to 5 minutes. Spread cauliflower purée on 4 plates. Add a few fresh green leaves over cauliflower. Place scallops on top and mushrooms around the side. Spoon over a slight drizzle of brown butter if using.

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