Scallops with Cauliflower Puree

September 2021 View more

A farm-and-fish dish from the executive chef at Parkers’ Restaurant & Bar in Downers Grove

By Christopher Daley

Makes 2 servings

Shallot Confit Ingredients

2 shallots

1 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided

11/2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped

Salt and pepper

1 tablespoon rice vinegar


  1. Trim shallots, leaving outer skin layers intact. Split in half, root to stem, then slice ½ inch thick. 
  2. Toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil, thyme, and salt and pepper to taste. Preheat a small sauce pan over high heat, then add shallot mixture. Caramelize in pan, stirring every 2 minutes, until shallots are tender.  
  3. Stir in the rice vinegar and the rest of the olive oil, then cover and turn down to very low heat. Cook slowly for 5 minutes, then remove from heat and cool.

Blood Orange Ingredients

1 blood orange, diced

1 pinch sugar


  1. While the broiler is preheating, place diced orange in a single layer on a sheet pan, then sprinkle evenly with sugar.
  2. Place under the broiler until caramelized; reserve. 

Pistachio Oil Ingredients

1/2 cup pistachios, toasted and roughly chopped

1/2 cup pistachio oil


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spread pistachios on sheet pan and toast lightly, then rough chop and mix with pistachio oil; reserve. 

Roasted Cauliflower and Brussels Sprouts Ingredients

1/2 head cauliflower, cut into florets

2 cups Brussels sprouts

1/2 cup canola oil, divided

Salt and pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees with convection fan on high. Cut Brussels sprouts in half, then toss with cauliflower florets, canola oil, and salt and pepper to taste. 
  2. Roast mixture on a sheet pan until lightly caramelized and just tender (about 8 minutes). Toss and rotate sheet pan halfway for even coloring. 

Cauliflower PurÉe Ingredients

2 tablespoons shallot, diced

4 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 head cauliflower, sliced

Salt and pepper

1/2 cup white wine

1 cup heavy cream


  1. In a medium pan, sauté shallots in 2 tablespoons olive oil until tender. Add the cauliflower, wine, and salt and pepper to taste, then bring the mixture to boil and cover. 
  2. Lower the heat and steam until very tender, then add cream and blend with immersion blender until very smooth.   

Seared Scallops Ingredients

8 jumbo (U-10) scallops

Canola oil

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper


  1. Lightly coat scallops in canola oil and salt and pepper. Heat sauté pan over high heat, add 4 teaspoons canola oil to the pan and wait until oil is near smoking point. 
  2. Using tongs, sear scallops in sauté pan until they are golden brown, then flip (1 to 2 minutes per side). Rest on paper towel to absorb excess oil.
  3. Spread 4 tablespoons cauliflower puree on each plate, then place 4 scallops on top of the puree. Mix roasted Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and shallot confit together, then plate next to the scallops. Sprinkle 8 pieces of the blood orange directly on top of the scallops, then drizzle pistachio oil and nuts.

Photo by Michelle Dellinger