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Editor's Pick

Seared sea scallops with parsnip and celery-root puree

January 19, 2011

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Serves 4

Sea scallops are best with sweet caramelized edges and barely cooked centers. Pair them with a creamy parsnip and celery-root puree and serve with wilted greens.

Salt and pepper, to taste
3 large parsnips, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium celery root, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup whole milk
1 1/2 pounds sea scallops, muscle removed
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
Extra fresh thyme (for garnish)

1. In a large pot of salted water, combine the parsnips and celery root. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer the vegetables for 25 minutes or until they are tender. Drain them into a colander.

2. In a food processor, combine the vegetables, thyme, butter, milk, salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth.

3. Sprinkle the scallops with salt. In a large skillet over high heat, heat the vegetable oil until very hot. Add the scallops in one layer (avoid crowding the pan; cook in two batches if necessary). Cook for 3 minutes, turn, and turn off the heat. Let the scallops sit for 1 minute. Sprinkle with pepper. Divide the puree among 4 warm plates. Add scallops to each one. Garnish with thyme.

Catherine Smart