Scallops with Roasted Cauliflower & Walnut Sauce

This is one of those “I swear it tastes much better than it looks” entries. We all have those, right? Please don’t say I’m alone on this one! I say this with a bit of embarrassment as I’m really trying to work on my photo skills. Part of my wonders if every time I commit to taking a pretty picture, I end up trying too hard and missing the point. I’m sure a better camera would help. I’ll get there someday, right?

Update: Since you guys seem to like it, I’m gonna go ahead and see what Tastespotting thinks!

Anyway, this sauce came about from the goal of creating a different kind of creamy, but healthy sauce for some new low-carb pasta I’m trying out. (And how appropriate that this is the last recipe I’ll share with you before beginning my Passover Prep series tomorrow!) Pureed cauliflower provides the creamy base while walnuts add a burst of flavor and good-for-you fats. Roasting both of these intensified the flavors without a lot of extra fat or seasonings required. Sweet scallops are the perfect compliment to the earthy, nutty flavor.
Speaking of scallops, I give you the choice of pan-searing or broiling them for this dish. Why? Because I’ve done it both ways. Personally I prefer the taste of a perfectly pan-seared scallop, but I confess I’m still trying to nail that done and it’s been mostly hit or miss. So when I’m feeling lazier and don’t feel like messing up another pan, broiling is another way to go.

By the way, I’m so happy I discovered Carba Nada pasta. Check out these nutritional stats. Have you ever seen such a good-for-you pasta? And more importantly, it tastes great. My husband claimed he would have had no idea this wasn’t “normal” pasta if I didn’t say anything.

Do you have any tips for me for perfecting my pan-seared scallops? Feel free to share!

And for my readers who will be observing Passover, do you typically have a “last meal” of something you know won’t be eating for eight days? If so, what is it?


Scallops with Roasted Cauliflower & Walnut Sauce
Printable Recipe

Sauce
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
200gm chopped fresh cauliflower
2 cloves of garlic, unpeeled (garlic enthusiasts may want to use more, but have restraint! Any more will overpower the walnut flavor – I learned the hard way.)
20gm walnut pieces
1/2 oz grated pecorino romano or parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Scallops
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
12oz sea scallops, patted dry

pasta of your choice, cooked and drained, cooking water reserved

Preheat oven to 375F. Toss chopped cauliflower with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil in a ceramic baking dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cut a square of aluminum foil and spray it with nontstick cooking spray. Place the garlic cloves on the foil and wrap up the foil. Put the foil packet in the baking dish with the cauliflower.
Roast for 15 minutes, turn, and roast another 15 minutes. Add the walnuts and roast for 10-15 minutes more, until walnuts are aromatic and cauliflower is caramelized on all sides. Remove from oven and cool slightly.

Meanwhile, cook your pasta. Drain the pasta, reserving the cooking water. Place the cauliflower and walnuts in the bowl of a food processor or use an immersion blender. Squeeze the garlic cloves out of their peels and add to the cauliflower and walnuts. Add the grated cheese, lemon juice, and about 2 ladles of reserved pasta water. Puree until smooth, adjusting the consistency with more water if needed. Toss the pureed mixture with the pasta and keep warm.

Cook the scallops. To broil them, toss with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Broil for about 4 minutes per side. To pan-sear, heat the oil over medium-high heat and cook the scallops for about 3 minutes per side.

Divide the pasta among two plates and serve the scallops over the pasta.

Nutritional Info (does not include pasta)
Servings Per Recipe: 2
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 339.3
Total Fat: 17.2 g
Cholesterol: 62.4 mg
Sodium: 392.5 mg
Total Carbs: 13.5 g
Dietary Fiber: 3.3 g
Protein: 34.4 g

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26 Responses to “Scallops with Roasted Cauliflower & Walnut Sauce”

  1. 1

    katiehealthforthewholeself — March 15, 2010 @ 12:29 pm Reply

    Honestly, I think the photo looks pretty good. I definitely want to make this! I'm actually trying to pan-sear scallops for the first time tonight…we'll see how it goes!

  2. 2

    Heidi — March 15, 2010 @ 2:08 pm Reply

    I think the picture's great! DH and I love scallops, I'll definitely be trying this one!

  3. 3

    Kalyn — March 15, 2010 @ 2:37 pm Reply

    Sounds good to me! I'm not an expert at pan-frying scallops, but I think drying them first with a paper towel is pretty important.

  4. 4

    Dawn — March 15, 2010 @ 3:04 pm Reply

    I still think the photo looks great and I love the dish but that is funny…that happens to me all the time with photos. My problem is I have about three seconds to take the photo. No time for lighting adjustment or food styling. My daughter is usually trying to grab my camera or take the tripod as I'm taking the photo. The ones I seem to try the hardest on tend to be flops. I got my Canon 30D off ebay refurbished and I LOOOOOVE it. The other purchase I wish I had made sooner was the lowel ego light. It made such a huge difference even with my point and shoot.I don't do many scallops for some reason so I don't have a lot of tips but I did just buy some golden cauliflower and was going to make mashed cauliflower tonight with dinner!

  5. 5

    Christie @ Honoring Health — March 15, 2010 @ 3:36 pm Reply

    I think your photo looks great! I don't like scallops, I had a bad incedent that involved the hospital, emergency surgery and scallops and I can't seem to eat them anymore. :D I do love mashed cauliflower, though!

  6. 6

    yumventures — March 15, 2010 @ 4:15 pm Reply

    No matter what you say, this still looks delicious! I love scallops and cauliflower :) I love how you make up all of your recipes, you are so talented!

  7. 7

    Elina — March 15, 2010 @ 4:19 pm Reply

    I hate when pictures don't give food justice. This sounds delicious nonetheless.I haven't been able to perfect the art of perfectly seared scallops. I think the trick is to really dry them with paper towels but mine always get watery for some reason. Broiling could be the way to go!

  8. 8

    Nicole Chow - HealthyChow.com — March 15, 2010 @ 9:24 pm Reply

    Oh yum! This looks excellent. I know what you mean about food tasting better than it looks, but this is certainly NOT the case. Your picture came out beautifully. I think your photography skills are great! The Carba Nada pasta sounds too good to be true. I need to try that, as well as this recipe. I'm always looking for ways to lighten-up a cream sauce. And, I like your garlic roasting trick. I'm gonna have to try that, too! Thanks Cara!

  9. 9

    Kerstin — March 15, 2010 @ 10:54 pm Reply

    Your photo definitely makes me want to dig in and take a bite!I love your cauliflower and walnut combo too – I'm sure the walnuts add such depth of flavor!

  10. 10

    *Naomi* — March 16, 2010 @ 12:23 am Reply

    i LOOOVE SCALLOPS! I am not an expert, but I LOVE them!

  11. 11

    *Naomi* — March 28, 2011 @ 8:52 pm Reply

    i LOOOVE SCALLOPS! I am not an expert, but I LOVE them!

  12. 12

    Kerstin — March 28, 2011 @ 8:52 pm Reply

    Your photo definitely makes me want to dig in and take a bite!I love your cauliflower and walnut combo too – I'm sure the walnuts add such depth of flavor!

  13. 13

    Nicole Chow - HealthyChow.com — March 28, 2011 @ 8:52 pm Reply

    Oh yum! This looks excellent. I know what you mean about food tasting better than it looks, but this is certainly NOT the case. Your picture came out beautifully. I think your photography skills are great! The Carba Nada pasta sounds too good to be true. I need to try that, as well as this recipe. I'm always looking for ways to lighten-up a cream sauce. And, I like your garlic roasting trick. I'm gonna have to try that, too! Thanks Cara!

  14. 14

    Elina — March 28, 2011 @ 8:52 pm Reply

    I hate when pictures don't give food justice. This sounds delicious nonetheless.I haven't been able to perfect the art of perfectly seared scallops. I think the trick is to really dry them with paper towels but mine always get watery for some reason. Broiling could be the way to go!

  15. 15

    yumventures — March 28, 2011 @ 8:52 pm Reply

    No matter what you say, this still looks delicious! I love scallops and cauliflower :) I love how you make up all of your recipes, you are so talented!

  16. 16

    Christie @ Honoring Health — March 28, 2011 @ 8:52 pm Reply

    I think your photo looks great! I don't like scallops, I had a bad incedent that involved the hospital, emergency surgery and scallops and I can't seem to eat them anymore. :D I do love mashed cauliflower, though!

  17. 17

    Dawn — March 28, 2011 @ 8:52 pm Reply

    I still think the photo looks great and I love the dish but that is funny…that happens to me all the time with photos. My problem is I have about three seconds to take the photo. No time for lighting adjustment or food styling. My daughter is usually trying to grab my camera or take the tripod as I'm taking the photo. The ones I seem to try the hardest on tend to be flops. I got my Canon 30D off ebay refurbished and I LOOOOOVE it. The other purchase I wish I had made sooner was the lowel ego light. It made such a huge difference even with my point and shoot.I don't do many scallops for some reason so I don't have a lot of tips but I did just buy some golden cauliflower and was going to make mashed cauliflower tonight with dinner!

  18. 18

    Dawn — March 28, 2011 @ 8:52 pm Reply

    I still think the photo looks great and I love the dish but that is funny…that happens to me all the time with photos. My problem is I have about three seconds to take the photo. No time for lighting adjustment or food styling. My daughter is usually trying to grab my camera or take the tripod as I'm taking the photo. The ones I seem to try the hardest on tend to be flops. I got my Canon 30D off ebay refurbished and I LOOOOOVE it. The other purchase I wish I had made sooner was the lowel ego light. It made such a huge difference even with my point and shoot.I don't do many scallops for some reason so I don't have a lot of tips but I did just buy some golden cauliflower and was going to make mashed cauliflower tonight with dinner!

  19. 19

    Kalyn — March 28, 2011 @ 8:52 pm Reply

    Sounds good to me! I'm not an expert at pan-frying scallops, but I think drying them first with a paper towel is pretty important.

  20. 20

    Kalyn — March 28, 2011 @ 8:52 pm Reply

    Sounds good to me! I'm not an expert at pan-frying scallops, but I think drying them first with a paper towel is pretty important.

  21. 21

    Heidi — March 28, 2011 @ 8:52 pm Reply

    I think the picture's great! DH and I love scallops, I'll definitely be trying this one!

  22. 22

    katiehealthforthewholeself — March 28, 2011 @ 8:52 pm Reply

    Honestly, I think the photo looks pretty good. I definitely want to make this! I'm actually trying to pan-sear scallops for the first time tonight…we'll see how it goes!

  23. 23

    yumventures — March 29, 2011 @ 2:06 am Reply

    No matter what you say, this still looks delicious! I love scallops and cauliflower :) I love how you make up all of your recipes, you are so talented!

  24. 24

    katiehealthforthewholeself — March 29, 2011 @ 2:06 am Reply

    Honestly, I think the photo looks pretty good. I definitely want to make this! I'm actually trying to pan-sear scallops for the first time tonight…we'll see how it goes!

  25. 25

    katiehealthforthewholeself — April 5, 2011 @ 1:20 am Reply

    Honestly, I think the photo looks pretty good. I definitely want to make this! I'm actually trying to pan-sear scallops for the first time tonight…we'll see how it goes!

  26. 26

    katiehealthforthewholeself — April 5, 2011 @ 1:20 am Reply

    Honestly, I think the photo looks pretty good. I definitely want to make this! I'm actually trying to pan-sear scallops for the first time tonight…we'll see how it goes!

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