Pan Fried Scallops with Golden Almonds and Creamy Cauliflower

I love date night. Sometimes date night is just me, myself and I. It’s a chance to kick back and relax by myself with an easy meal and a glass of wine. Other times it falls into the more traditional category (aka dinner with another human being). I try to treat myself at least once a week to a beautiful meal that isn’t rushed or stressful. The type a night when you remember to put on some music and light a candle or two and eat with a a proper napkin. Some weeks are better then others, and then there are weeks like this one, where I get to Friday in a whirlwind and wonder where the week went.

On days like these, I am thankful for easy ‘date night’ meals (perfect for along or together nights). This is one of those. It comes together in 20 minutes. This leaves rest of the night to simply be.  Whether that’s kicking up your feet a grabbing a good book or a night when you fall into the arms of someone you care about. A night when you can  just BE together. No expectations. No schedule. No big kitchen clean up. Just the lightness of simply being…

Serve with a large green salad to start!

Scallops with Golden Almonds

  • 6 large scallops or enough for 2 people
  • 1 Tbsp Butter
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • Smoked paprika
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice, fresh

In a frying pan melt butter with olive oil. Pat the scallops dry using a paper towel. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with paprika. I use a sweet paprika, but use what you like best. A good quality Spanish or Hungarian Paprika is a world apart from the stuff in the bulk bins!

Once the butter mixture is very hot, add the scallops. Cook for 2 minutes per side (if scallops are 1 inch across, less if they are smaller, more if they are larger) until browned on both sides but not quite cooked through.

Place the scallops on a bed of creamed cauliflower (see below). Add the almonds to the pan and cook until the almonds are brown. Add the lemon juice and stir until combined. Top the scallops with the almond butter sauce.

Creamy Cauliflower

  • 6 cups cauliflower florets or 1 large head of cauliflower
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 Tbsp butter or Olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp of nutmeg
  • salt and pepper to taste

Steam the cauliflower for 10 minutes or until cooked through. Meanwhile, cook the onion in 1 Tbsp of olive oil over medium high heat until just starting to turn golden. Strain the cauliflower and return to the pot. Add onions, salt and nutmeg to the cauliflower mixture. Using an emulsion blender, puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. A food processor or blender will also work.

Place 1 1/2 cups of cauliflower puree into a wide low rimmed bowl or plate. Top with scallops and browned almonds.


I’m sharing this with Mangia Monday, Monday Mania, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, and Fat Tuesday.

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8 Responses to Pan Fried Scallops with Golden Almonds and Creamy Cauliflower

  1. The Café Sucré Farine November 18, 2012 at 5:03 pm #

    Sounds delish France! A perfect date night dinner! You know what? No matter how old you get, you have to make an effort to keep pizzaz in your marriage – but it’s well worth the effort and your two are starting good habits in the beginning!

    • France Morissette November 19, 2012 at 4:11 pm #

      Thanks Chris. I think he’s worth the effort 😉

  2. Anita B November 18, 2012 at 5:37 pm #

    Looks fabulous (and fabulously easy) France. Off I go to the fish market!

  3. Teresa November 19, 2012 at 12:35 pm #

    Making this to night. Can’t wait! We are limiting grains and starches so this cauliflower dish is perfect too.

    • France Morissette November 19, 2012 at 4:10 pm #

      You know Teresa, for a big bowl of cauliflower, it’s surprisingly filling and satisfying. I hope you enjoy it.

  4. Koko November 19, 2012 at 4:43 pm #

    Oooh. It has been much too long since I have had scallops! The cauli mash is a great idea!

  5. shakleecar November 19, 2012 at 4:57 pm #

    Yum, I am going to make this one!!

  6. Karen (Back Road Journal) November 21, 2012 at 12:06 pm #

    I love cooking sea scallops…they are so quick to prepare and delicious. I love your recipe with the almonds and cauliflower.

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