Cauliflower seems to be under-appreciated. I think most people think of two main things for it – raw as a snack or steamed with some butter or cheese sauce. Not that there is anything wrong with either option (because I’m certain I have NEVER said no to a cheese sauce), but there really are so many options. Soup, cooked and pureed for a great side, baked in a gratin, battered and fried, pickled, the list goes on an on.
For this, I roasted it with some olive oil, salt, and pepper. The roasting brings out some of its natural sweetness, and then I mixed it with toasted walnuts, golden raisins, and sherry vinegar. A great side or a nice addition to a small plates theme.
Great warm or at room temp
Roasted Cauliflower with Walnuts and Golden Raisins
- 1 head cauliflower, roughly chopped
- 1/3 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
- 1/3 cup golden raisins
- 1/4 cup sherry vinegar
- olive oil
Toss cauliflower with some olive oil and salt and pepper and spread in one layer in a sheet pan. Roast in a 400 degree oven for about 10 mintues. Turn cauliflower and roast another 5 minutes.
In the meantime, heat a saute pan over medium high heat. Add walnuts and toast for about 5 minutes or until starting to smell fragrant. Add raisins and toss for a minute. Reduce heat to medium and add sherry vinegar. Stir to combine and let cook down until nuts and raisins are well coated.
Combine cauliflower, walnuts, and golden raisins in a bowl with a few tablespoons olive oil.
Scallops are such a good way to be impressive without being a lot of work. We have a great seafood place in town so we are lucky to always be able to get high quality scallops, but they are rather pricey. Hence, they usually only make an appearance at our house in the form of an appetizer. I wanted to do something light, but also wanted something that would contrast well with the sweetness of the scallops. I love the sweet, rich, almost caramel-ly flavors that scallops really show when they are seared just right, and I thought the acidic pickled flavors in this salad were a good pair.
Seared Scallops with a Pickled Vegetable Salad
Serves 2 appetizer portions
- 4 large sea scallops, side muscle removed
- 1 tablespoon butter
- big handful mixed greens
- 1/3 cup pickled onions
- 5 cornichons, halved and sliced thin
- 1/3 cup roasted red peppers, sliced thin
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
- 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
- 1/2 tablespoon(ish) olive oil
Thoroughly season scallops on each side with salt and pepper.
Melt butter over medium high heat in a saute pan. Add scallops and sear on each side for about 3-4 minutes. Be sure to let them develop a nice brown sear on each side before you flip them.
Remove from pan and let rest at least 5 minutes.
As scallops are resting, assemble salad. Mix lettuce, pickled onions, cornichons, roasted red peppers, chives, sherry vinegar, and olive oil in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
Place a small mound of salad on two plates. Top each salad with 2 scallops. Serve.
Posted in Appetizers, Salads
Tagged appetizer, chives, cooking, cornichon, food, pickled onions, recipes, roasted red peppers, salad, scallops, sherry vinegar