Seared Scallops & Cauliflower Grits

With the sunshine and warmer weather, an Easter weekend tradition in our house is to celebrate our love (and the food!) of the beautiful South Carolina Low Country. I usually serve a version of the classic Low Country dish, Shrimp and Grits, but, this year tried this scallop and cauliflower grits adaptation. We absolutely loved it!

This recipe was adapted from Joel Gamoran, Sur La Table National Chef, via Sur la Table.com. I puréed the vegetables instead of juicing them for the sauce, used riced cauliflower, and doubled the garlic. Amazing.

Yield: Makes 4 Servings

For the Cauliflower Grits:

  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds riced cauliflower
  • 1 to 2 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (I used Parmigiano-Reggiano)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

For the Scallops:

  • 2 medium whole tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons canola or grape seed oil
  • 16 sea scallops, patted dry
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced, for garnish
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  1. Prepare the Cauliflower Grits: In the microwave, steam the riced cauliflower for 4 minutes, or until very tender.
  2. Combine the steamed cauliflower with Parmesan, garlic, and enough cream cheese to achieve desired consistency.
  3. Season with salt and pepper. Keep warm.
  4. Prepare the Scallops: Combine the tomatoes, pepper and carrot in a Vitamix, food processor, or blender. Puree.
  5. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  6. Season scallops with salt and pepper and add to pan in one layer. Sear the scallops for 2 to 3 minutes on each side until golden. Remove scallops to a platter.
  7. Reduce heat to medium-low and add remaining oil to skillet.
  8. Add shallot and sauté until translucent, about 3 minutes.
  9. Add garlic and smoked paprika and cook, stirring constantly, for about 1 minute.
  10. Slowly whisk in puréed vegetables and bring to a boil.
  11. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until thickened, about 4 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  12. To serve: Serve scallops on top of cauliflower grits with sauce spooned on top. Garnish with scallions and extra black pepper, as desired.

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About Josette@thebrookcook

I live in Stony Brook, New York on Long Island. I love garlic and baking. My hobby (and love) is to try new recipes. My favorite recipe resources include The New York Times, Food and Wine, Bon Appetit, and Martha Stewart Living. Enjoy!

15 responses to “Seared Scallops & Cauliflower Grits

  1. Looks simply amazing Josette! I need to be on the lookout for a deal on scallops, it’s been way too long since we’ve had any.

  2. Cauliflower grits! GENIUS! Love this… isn’t cauliflower THE most flexible cooking item ever? So many ways to enjoy it…

    I also love scallops, hard to find great ones here, unfortunately

    • You are SO right- I think I’m going to incorporate cauliflower “rice” in some sort of way weekly! 🙂

      • I do that about once every two weeks – it’s a fantastic side dish. The other day I made a variation in which I processed fennel bulb (yes!) and walnuts together with the cauliflower – it turned out great, but my pictures not so much….

  3. I love the idea of Cauliflower Grits……….. I have a purple cauliflower and I just may use it for this.

  4. Your scallops look delicious. I am still trying to perfect my scallops. Love the idea of scallops and grits. Yum!

  5. I’m liking the cauliflower base 🙂 nice!

  6. Hi Josette, love this. Would you like to share this with the other participants in Food on Friday over at Carole’s Chatter? I have a weekly link up party – each week there is a different ingredient or theme. The current theme is Scallops!

    You can see upcoming themes in one of the pages at the top of my home page. If you would like to join in the fun please schedule a reminder for each week. The collection starts at 7am Friday New Zealand time – which might be some time Thursday your time – aren’t time zones confusing? Well they confuse me! Hope to see you soon. Cheers, Carole

  7. Looks yum! Hubby is trying to eat low carb-ish so I’m dying to try these cauliflower grits. Thanks for sharing 🙂

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