Scallops with Roasted Cauliflower and Raisins
- ACTIVE: 30 MIN
- TOTAL TIME: 1 HR
- SERVINGS: 4
Chef Payton Curry drizzles deliciously caramelized cauliflower with vinaigrette, then tops the dish with meaty scallops.
- 1 head of cauliflower (about 2 pounds), cut into florets
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 cup pine nuts
- 1 cup golden raisins
- 1/4 cup saba or aged balsamic vinegar (see Note)
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 small shallot, minced
- 8 jumbo sea scallops (about 2 ounces each)
- 1/3 cup tarragon leaves
- Preheat the oven to 425°. In a medium bowl, toss the cauliflower with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread the cauliflower on a large rimmed baking sheet and roast for about 50 minutes, stirring once or twice, until tender and browned in spots. Spread the pine nuts on a pie plate and toast for about 3 minutes, until golden.
- Meanwhile, in a small, microwave-safe bowl, combine the raisins, saba and water and microwave at high power for 3 minutes. Cover and let stand until the raisins are plump, about 30 minutes.
- Strain the soaking liquid into a small saucepan and simmer until reduced to 2 tablespoons, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and let cool. Whisk in 1/4 cup of the olive oil and the shallot and season the dressing with salt and pepper. Set the raisins aside.
- In a large skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil until smoking. Season the scallops with salt and pepper and add them to the skillet in a single layer. Cook over high heat until deeply browned on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Turn and cook the scallops until lightly browned, about 2 minutes longer.
- In a bowl, gently toss the cauliflower with the pine nuts, raisins, tarragon and dressing. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to plates. Top with the scallops and serve right away.
As a counterpoint to the roasted cauliflowerthe dominant flavorrestaurateur Peter Kasperski chooses a minerally white wine made from the Roussanne grape variety, such as one from California's Central Coast.
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Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.