Pan fried scallops over sautéed cauliflower

This has quickly become one of my favorite dishes – quick and easy to make, yet sophisticated. Whenever I need to host and don’t have a lot of time – this has become one of my go-to recipes.

serves: 4        difficulty: easy      prep time: 25 min


  • 12 scallops
  • 1 head of cauliflower – large
  • 3 tbs dried currants
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 2 tbs vegetable oil


First tear off the green leaves from the bottom part of the cauliflower. Rinse it and dry it. Slice the cauliflower in 4, and then slice each quarter in thin slivers – about 1/8 inch think. Some of the slivers will end up being larger than others as you make your way from what was the middle part of the cauliflower to the end part, and you can cut the larger slivers in 2-3 pieces. Each piece needs to be small enough to be comfortably picked with a fork.

Heat a frying pan, and put the olive oil in it. Place the sliced cauliflower in the pan, and season with salt and pepper.  Saute the cauliflower – stirring it every 2-3 min so that it cooks evenly. Cook until it caramelizes – about 10-15 min in total. Then put the currants in the pan, and saute the mix for another min. The goal is for the dried currants to soften slightly.  Remove from the pan and keep warm until ready to serve.

Warm a frying pan and put the vegetable oil in it. Season the scallops with salt and pepper. Make sure that the pan and the oil are really hot – that’s one of the tricks to perfectly cooked scallops. One way to test is if the oil in the pan is starting to smoke slightly.  Place the scallops in the pan making sure not to overcrowd it – i.e. the scallops in the pan should not be touching. Fry until the scallops are golden on the under site (~2 min). Turn them and fry until the other side is golden (~ 1 1/2 min). Remove from the pan.


Place some of the cauliflower mixture on the plate, and put 3 scallops on top. Voila, dinner is ready! Serve with a good Riesling.