Scallops on Cauliflower Cream with Beetroot Couscous

The flavours in this dish are simple but delicious as each one complements the other. Most of the components in this dish can be prepared a day ahead making it an excellent dish for a dinner party.

Wine Recommendation: This calls for lightly oaked creamy Chardonnay. See The Mixed Case for details.

Portions: 6 Portions

Preparation: 20minutes

Cooking: 10 minutes

Ingredients

Scallops

  • 18 large king scallops, without roes
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 2 tbsp virgin olive oil
  • maldon salt and freshly ground pepper

Beetroot Couscous

  • 300g couscous
  • 500ml vegetable stock or water
  • 180g beetroot, cooked and peeled
  • juice of half a lime
  • maldon salt and freshly ground pepper

Cauliflower Cream

  • 250g cauliflower, broken up into small florets
  • 400ml semi skimmed milk
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 4 peppercorns
  • 100g half fat creme fraiche
  • maldon salt and freshly ground pepper

To Serve

  • 6 generous handfuls of mixed herb leaves e.g. tarragon, basil, mint, coriander and dill
  • 1 tbsp walnut oil or extra virgin olive oil

Method

  1. Beetroot Couscous: Place the vegetable stock (you may use a stock cube) or water in a saucepan with the beetroot. Bring the water to the boil then strain the water, reserving the beetroot. Place the couscous in a bowl and pour over the boiling water so that it just covers the couscous. Cover the bowl with cling film and set it aside. Puree the beetroot in a food processor with a couple of tablespoons of the cooking liquid. Pour the beetroot puree over the couscous and stir it so its well distributed, recover the couscous and leave until the couscous has absorbed all the liquid and is tender. If the couscous isn't tender add a little more boiling water. Season with a little salt and pepper and stir in the lime juice. Set it aside in a covered container until ready to serve. If preparing a day in advance refrigerate it and then remove it from the fridge 30 minutes before serving to bring it to room temperature.
  2. Cauliflower Cream: Place the cauliflower in a saucepan with the peppercorns, cardamom pods and cover milk. Bring the milk to simmer and cook the cauliflower until it is tender (5-8 minutes). Remove the cauliflower from the stove and allow it to cool slightly. Strain the cauliflower and puree it with the cardamom pods, peppercorns, 50ml of the milk and the creme fraiche, until you have a smooth creamy consistency. Allow the cauliflower cream to cool to room temperature before serving. If preparing in advance refrigerate in a covered container.
  3. Scallops: Season the scallops with the cumin powder and a little salt and pepper. Place the oil in a frying pan over a moderately high heat. When the oil is hot place the scallops in the pan and cook for around a minute on each side, so that they are a golden on each sid. Remove them from the stove and keep warm until ready to serve.
  4. To Serve: Toss the herbs in the oil. Place a biscuit cutter in the centre of each plate. Place the herbs in the base of each biscuit cutter or egg ring, then top it with couscous. Place 3 tablespoons of the cauliflower cream at equal points around each plate. Place the scallops on the cauliflower and serve.