Seared Scallops with Squash Puree and Sage Butter
Nov 19, 2014 04:00PM ● Published by Cate Reynolds
Scallops, butternut squash, and brown sage butter: talk about foodie heaven! This dish had me at scallops, but then went above and beyond with some of fall’s best flavors. Even though it finished second for the week (a photo-finish second at that) does not mean this meal isn’t absolutely heavenly. The only slight prep work hurdle is taking care of the butternut squash, but use this week’s Tool of the Week and you’re already halfway there. Then, it just needs to be cut—and not all the precisely since it will be a puree—microwaved, and blended in a food processor. Yes, this recipe requires the use of a microwave to pre-cook the butternut squash which is not my favorite method, but it does save a lot of time and hassle. Refer to the Maple Pork Chops with Sweet Potato and Bacon Hash for more help on this. A quick tip for cooking the scallops: make sure you thoroughly pat the scallops dry and sear them on high-heat in order to get that nice browned crust.
Ingredients – Serves 4
- 2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch pieces (5 cups)
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon half-and-half
- Salt and pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 ½ pounds large sea scallops, tendons removed
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 shallot minced
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh sage, plus 8 leaves
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
1. Place squash in bowl, cover, and microwave until tender, 8 to 12 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking. Drain, and then transfer to food processor. Add 1 tablespoon butter, half-and-half, ½ teaspoon salt, and cayenne and process until smooth, about 20 seconds. Return to bowl and cover to keep warm.
2. Pat scallops dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over high heat until just smoking. Add half of scallops and cook, without moving, until well browned, 1 ½ to 2 minutes. Flip scallops and cook until sides are firm and centers are opaque, 30 to 90 seconds. Transfer to plate and tent loosely with aluminum foil. Wipe out skillet with paper towels and repeat with remaining 1 tablespoon oil and remaining scallops. Transfer to plate with first batch.
3. Melt remaining 3 tablespoons butter in now-empty skillet over medium heat. Continue to cook, swirling skillet continuously, until butter is starting to brown and has nutty aroma, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add shallot, minced sage, and sage leaves and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Off heat, stir in lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour sauce over scallops and serve with butternut squash.
Adapted from: “Seared Scallops with Squash Puree and Sage Butter.” America’s Test Kitchen: The Best Simple Recipes. Boston Common Press Limited Partnership. 2013. Print.