Scallops with almond butter and creamy cauliflower

Whether it's date night or dinner for one, this meal comes together quickly, and is simply elegant. Browned scallops drizzled with lemon juice and almond butter sauce sit on a bed of creamy cauliflower.

Beyond the Peel
Forget potatoes! Try cauliflower mash. Add butter, salt, and nutmeg to steamed cauliflower, and blend.

If you are a regular follower of my blog, you'll know how important date night is to my husband and me. If we didn’t set a time aside for just the two of us, I know a month would go by and we’d be asking ourselves, “When was the last time we really did something together?”

I admire those couples that seem to find time for each other every single day or even several times a week. We’ll get there some day. We strive for it. Some weeks are better then others, and then there are weeks like this one, where we get to Friday in a whirlwind and wonder where the week went.

On days like those, I am thankful for easy date night meals. This is one of those. It comes together in 20 minutes. The rest of the night, we can fall into each others arms and just be together. No expectations. No schedule. No big kitchen clean up. Just simply the lightness of being … being together.

Serve with a large green salad to start!

Scallops with golden almonds

 6 large scallops or enough for 2 people

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

smoked paprika

salt and pepper

1/4 cup slivered almonds

1 tablespoon 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 tablespoon butter or olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg

Salt and pepper, to taste

Steam the cauliflower for 10 minutes or until cooked through. Strain and return to the pot. Add butter, salt and nutmeg. Using an emulsion blender, purée 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.

 

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