Seared scallops, cauliflower purée and curry oil

Recipe from Kitchen Secrets by Raymond Blanc.

A dish very much inspired by simple Indian spicing. I use a high-quality Madras curry powder sourced from my local Indian supermarket and I suggest you do the same. If you do not have time to make the cauliflower bhaji accompaniment, this is a lovely, elegant dish in its own right.

Preparation: 40 mins, plus 1 hour infusing.

Cooking: 20 mins.

Special equipment: Blender.

433 Scallop Cauliflower Portrait MAINIMAGE

Ingredients Required

For the scallops
6 hand-dived large scallops (about 180g), cleaned *1
1 pinch Sea salt
1 tbsp Olive oil
1 squeeze Lime juice
1 tbsp Curry oil (from below)
For the curry oil
1 tsp Madras curry powder
100ml Extra virgin olive oil, warmed
1 Lemongrass stalk, bruised and finely chopped *2
2 Kaffir lime leaves, finely sliced
1/2 Grated zest and juice of a lime
1 pinch Sea salt
For the cauliflower purée
65g Unsalted butter
1/2 Large cauliflower (250g), cut into small florets
2 pinches Sea salt
250ml Whole milk
1 tsp Lemon juice
For the seared cauliflower slices
2 tbsp Olive oil
16 Fine cauliflower slices (200g)
1 pinch Sea salt (optional)
To serve
20g Mixed baby salad leaves
2 tsp Curry oil (from above)
2 or 3 A few finely chopped chives

Cooking Method

Planning ahead

The curry oil can be made up to a week ahead. The cauliflower purée can be made up to half a day in advance.

To prepare the curry oil

In a small frying pan over a medium heat, toast the curry powder for 5 minutes (*3) then add to the warm olive oil with the lemongrass, lime leaves and lime zest. Stir and set aside to infuse in a warm place for 1 hour. Strain the oil through a fine sieve (*4) into a bowl and add the salt and lime juice. Cover and set aside until needed.

To make the cauliflower purée

In a large saucepan, melt 25g butter over a medium heat and gently sweat the cauliflower for 3 minutes, seasoning with the salt (*5). Add the milk, bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes until tender. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cauliflower to a blender and purée with just enough of the cooking liquor to make a smooth purée. In another pan, heat the remaining 40g butter to the beurre noisette stage (*6). Stir into the cauliflower purée with the lemon juice, then check the seasoning; keep warm.

To sear the cauliflower slices

Heat the olive oil in a medium frying pan over a medium heat, then add the cauliflower slices and sear for 1 minute on one side until golden brown; they should be half raw with a wonderful crunch. Transfer to a warm plate, season with a pinch of salt, if needed, and keep warm.

To cook the scallops

Season the scallops with the salt. Heat the olive oil in a medium, heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat. Add the scallops, flat side down, and sear for 1½ minutes until golden brown (*7), then turn the scallops over and continue to cook for 30 seconds. Remove the pan from the heat and deglaze with a squeeze of lime juice and 1 tbsp of the curry oil. Transfer the scallops and the juices to a warm plate, season with another pinch of salt, if needed, and keep warm.

To serve

Put two spoonfuls of cauliflower purée on each plate and arrange the scallops in the middle. Lay the caramelised cauliflower around the outside of the plate and drizzle the deglazed pan juices over. Garnish with baby salad leaves, curry oil and chopped chives.


120 154 KS Paperback

Recipe from Kitchen Secrets by Raymond Blanc, published by Bloomsbury. 

Recipe © Raymond Blanc 2011.

Photograph © David Griffin 2014.