Seared Scallops with Caponata & Roasted Cauliflower Puree

Delicately sweet scallops are complemented perfectly by a sweet and sour caponata made of seasoned tomatoes, onions and raisins. Creamy cauliflower is a less starchy stand-in for mashed potatoes.

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Brandon Barré
Prep Time
40 min
Cook Time
20 min
60 min


  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • 1 head cauliflower (2 1/4 to 2 1/2 lb), cut into florets
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt, divided
  • 2 large cloves garlic, unpeeled
  • 1 tbsp organic unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup whole milk
  • 3 tbsp raw unsalted pine nuts
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 12 oz grape tomatoes, halved
  • 3/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper, divided
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, optional
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened raisins
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 4 tsp drained and rinsed jarred capers (not salt-packed), roughly chopped
  • 5 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, divided
  • 1 lb sea scallops, muscle removed and rinsed
  • 4 tsp olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 425 F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil and mist with cooking spray. Spread cauliflower on sheet and mist again. Sprinkle with 1/4 tsp plus 1/8 tsp salt. Roast for 20 minutes, then toss with a spatula. To baking sheet, add garlic and continue roasting until cauliflower is browned and very tender, 15 to 20 minutes more. To a food processor, add cauliflower and butter. Remove skin from garlic and add to processor with cauliflower. Turn processor on high and slowly pour milk through the feed tube. Purée until smooth, scraping down bowl as needed.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare caponata: Heat a large nonstick skillet on medium. Add nuts and toast, stirring frequently, until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes, watching closely to prevent burning. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside. Mist same skillet with cooking spray and heat on medium. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until lightly browned and translucent, 4 to 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, remaining 1/8 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp black pepper and pepper flakes (if using) and cook, stirring frequently, until tomatoes just begin to soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Reduce heat to low and add raisins, vinegar and capers. Stir until combined and heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 3 tbsp parsley and nuts.
  3. Pat scallops dry with a paper towel and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 tsp black pepper. Heat a large heavy skillet (such as cast iron or stainless steel) on medium high. Working in two batches to prevent overcrowding, heat half of oil and add half of scallops. Cook until bottom sides are deep golden brown, about 3 minutes. Turn and cook until opposite sides are browned and scallops spring back slightly when pressed in center, about 2 minutes more. Transfer to a plate and cover to keep warm. Repeat with remaining half of oil and scallops.
  4. If cauliflower and caponata have cooled down, reheat on low while scallops are cooking (transfer cauliflower to a medium saucepan). Divide cauliflower, scallops and caponata evenly among plates and sprinkle with remaining 2 tbsp parsley.

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size 1/3 up cauliflower puree, 3 scallops, 1/2 cup caponata
  • Calories 297
  • Carbohydrate Content 29 g
  • Cholesterol Content 39 mg
  • Fat Content 12 g
  • Fiber Content 5 g
  • Protein Content 20 g
  • Saturated Fat Content 4 g
  • Sodium Content 646 mg
  • Sugar Content 17 g
  • Monounsaturated Fat Content 0 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat Content 3 g