My husband is a big fan of scallops. Me? Not so much. I hate biting into a piece of grit and scallops tend to be gritty/sandy. Regardless of my personal feelings about scallops, once in a while I’m willing to prepare them. I try to solve the grit problem by rinsing them gently in cold water and then soaking them in a citrus marinade – turning the bag frequently – hoping any remaining grit will work its way out.
Be aware – if you leave seafood/fish in a citrus marinade too long the citrus will cook the seafood/fish and you’ll have ceviche. Which is edible, more or less. Although I like sushi and sashimi I’m not into ceviche. Tastes like fish mush to me.
So, anywhooo – I waited until the last minute to clean and marinate the scallops. In the meantime I made my marinade – the juice of three lemons, 1/4 cup or so of honey, 1 Tbs. cumin and 1 tsp. chili flakes.
I also soaked my golden raisins in a couple Tbs. of rice wine (for the cauliflower salad), and roasted my head of garlic for the white bean puree.
I roasted a dismembered head of cauliflower with two sliced shallots. So what you do is break up the cauliflower and slice the shallots. Spread them on a baking sheet, drizzle on olive oil, sprinkle on kosher salt, pepper and a little superfine sugar and let roast until the cauliflower begins to brown.
When the cauliflower is done, remove from the oven and pour everything into a plastic bag. Stick in the fridge until ready to serve.
Making the white bean puree – drain and rinse one can of white beans. Pour them into a food processor along with the roasted garlic, 1 Tbs. of Zatar spice, 1 tsp. kosher salt, 1 tsp. coarse ground black pepper, 1 Tbs. olive oil. Puree until just a little chunky. Set aside until ready to prepare plate.
An hour before you are ready to serve, rinse scallops and put into a plastic bag. Pour over the marinade and refrigerate. Turn bag frequently. Heat saute pan. Add a little butter or olive oil. When hot, reduce the heat to medium and add scallops. Cook maybe 3-4 minutes per side, depending upon the size of the scallops – until they get a little brown.
While the scallops are cooking prepare the plates. Spread several Tbs. of white bean puree on each plate. Sprinkle over smoked paprika.
Drain the golden raisins. Mix them with the roasted cauliflower and shallots along with 2 Tbs. drained capers. Spoon around the white bean puree.
Set hot scallops onto the white bean puree and serve with a green salad. (I actually prepared cold crispy green beans with toasted almonds.)