Seared Scallops with Butternut Squash Puree and Sage Butter
- 1-½ pounds large sea scallops
- 2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 stick of salted butter
- 1 tbsp. water
- Salt and pepper
- ⅛ tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1 shallot, minced
- 2 tsp. minced fresh sage
- 1 tbsp. lemon juice
This is an elegant meal that is really easy to prepare. Pairing the succulent sea scallops with velvety butternut squash puree is a perfect combination.
The squash can be steamed or roasted. Steam it for 20 minutes or until tender, or bake it at 425° for 30-40 minutes, depending on how big your pieces are.
The scallops should be dry when they hit the pan if you want to achieve nice browning.
A simple yet fragrant pan sauce of butter, shallots, fresh sage, and juices from the scallops ties the dish together.
- Steam or roast the butternut squash pieces according to the instructions above. Place the cooked butternut squash in a food processor and process until smooth. Add 1 tbsp. butter, 1 tbsp. water, and ⅛ tsp. cayenne pepper and process for an additional 30 seconds, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. If you don’t have a food processor, you can use a potato masher. Keep warm until ready to serve; alternatively, you can prep the squash a day ahead and heat it just before serving.
- Place the scallops on brown paper towels or a clean dish towel and pat dry to blot liquid. Let them come to room temperature for 10 minutes, then season them with salt and pepper.
- Heat 2 tbsp. butter in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over high heat until the butter just begins to brown. Add half of the scallops in a single layer, flat side down, and cook without moving for 2 minutes. Flip them over and continue to cook, basting them with melted butter until their sides are firm and centers are opaque, 60-90 seconds. Remove smaller scallops as they finish cooking.
- Transfer the scallops to a large plate and keep them warm. Wipe the skillet clean with paper towels and repeat with 2 tbsp. butter and the remaining scallops. Transfer them to the plate.
- Wipe the skillet clean. Heat the remaining butter in your skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add shallot and sage and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in lemon juice and any accumulated juices.
- Spoon warm butternut squash puree on a plate, place scallops on top, and pour sauce over scallops. Enjoy!