Scallops with Parsnip Puree

Add scallops to your weeknight rotation: They're low in fat, calories and cholesterol. (Plus they cook quickly!)
  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 40 min
  • Active: 40 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Nutrition Info
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Ingredients

1 1/4 pounds parsnips, peeled and chopped

1 cup milk

Kosher salt

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon vegetable oil

1 1/2 pounds large scallops, "foot" muscles removed

1/4 cup blanched hazelnuts, chopped

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme 

1 tablespoon honey

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar

1 small shallot

3 cups watercress, thick stems removed

Directions

  1. Combine the parsnips, milk and a large pinch of salt in a medium saucepan. Cover and bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 20 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor, add the butter and puree. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Season the scallops with salt and pepper, add to the skillet and cook, undisturbed, until well browned, about 3 minutes. Flip and cook through, about 1 more minute. Divide among plates.
  3. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon vegetable oil and the hazelnuts and thyme to the skillet. Cook, stirring and scraping up the pan, until the nuts are toasted, about 1 minute. Scrape the mixture into a bowl. 
  4. Return the skillet to the heat and stir in the honey and 1/4 cup vinegar. Cook, swirling the pan, until thick, about 1 minute. 
  5. Thinly slice the shallot and put in a large bowl with the remaining 1 tablespoon vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper. Add the watercress and toss. Add the watercress salad and parsnip puree to the plates. Sprinkle with the hazelnut mixture and drizzle with the honey syrup.

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