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Scallops on a bed of Cauliflower Rice in a Cucumber/Mint Sauce

Sounds fancy but it’s very simple really. Artichoke Hart was asked to come up with a low-calorie gourmet meal for the Scandinavians and this was the result. (New York Fried, Sunao Publishing 2019). Cauliflower Rice is simply finely chopped cauliflower (duh!). The sauce uses a simple yogurt base with chopped mint and cucumber added. And the scallops are sauteed on high heat in oil and butter as always. The result is a sophisticated looking and tasting dish that has less than 200 calories per serving! (Serves 2. Double ingredients for 4). (Sorry one of the scallops is half-eaten in the picture. It looked so good, Hart had a sample prior to serving and forgot the photo…oops)

INGREDIENTS

2 cups cauliflower chopped into rice-sized pieces
5 slices of cucumber, chopped to rice size
fresh mint, chopped finely
1 tbsp butter (for sauteeing cauliflower)
2 tbsp butter (for sauteeing scallops)
4 tbsp plain Greek yogurt
1 tsp seaweed crunch (a processed product made of seaweed cooked with olive oil. Any brand will do)
4 fresh bay scallops. Dry scallops (beige in color) are preferred to wet ones (white) as the latter has a preservative that absorbs water and makes sauteeing more difficult. Regardless, pat them dry with a paper towel. Season top with salt and pepper.

METHOD

Mix the chopped cucumber, mint leaves and yogurt together

In a 10″ saucepan, saute the cauliflower for two minutes. Turn heat to low and add the cucumber mix. Simmer while cooking scallops.

Heat a 6″ cast iron skillet till it’s very hot. Add a high tolerance oil and drop in the scallops (don’t allow them to touch) and saute for 2 minutes, till they brown. Flip them carefully, season this side with salt and pepper, add a tspn of butter to the pan, and saute this side for a further 2 minutes. Take them out of the pan immediately (they continue to cook if you don’t as cast iron retains heat for a long time)

Place a bed of the cauliflower on the bottom of a small dish. Scatter the seaweed atop as you would parsley or basil.  Place 2 scallops on the top. Serve with crusty bread and a glass of sweet wine (Reisling).

This and other recipes occasionally pop up in the Artichoke Hart series (available here), or the London Cartwright series (available here). Both chefs are fictional… the dishes are not.

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