Seared Scallops with Smoky Orange Vinaigrette and Roasted Cauliflower Steaks with Sauce Vierge

Seared Scallops with Smoky Orange Vinaigrette and Roasted Cauliflower Steaks with Sauce Vierge combines two of Ample Bites favorite recipes to create an elegant and healthy meal for two.

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Seared Scallops with Smoky Orange Vinaigrette and Roasted Cauliflower Steaks with Sauce Vierge
(Mark Kelly, 2015)

Makes 2 servings (with leftover vinaigrette and Sauce Vierge)

10 large sea scallops, patted dry and seasoned with salt and pepper
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Canola or grape seed oil
Extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium head of cauliflower, sliced vertically through and along the core into 1/2″-thick steaks
1 Tbsp fresh thyme, coarsely chopped
16-20 leaves of fresh spinach

Smoky-Orange Vinaigrette
3 Tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tsp finely grated orange zest
2 Tbsp sherry vinegar
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp granulated sugar
2 dashes Sriracha
1/2 cup olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

To prepare the vinaigrette; in a small bowl, whisk together the orange juice, zest, vinegar, paprika, sugar, and Sriracha. Slowly whisk in a drizzled stream of oil until creamy and blended. Season with salt and pepper. Pour into a small mason jar with a lid. Shake vigorously and then set aside at room temperature until serving.

Sauce Vierge
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh parsley (curly or flat-leaf)
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup finely chopped green olives
2 Tbsp finely chopped cornichon (small cucumber)
1 Tbsp minced shallot
1 Tbsp drained capers, coarsely chopped
2 tsp minced jalapeno
1 tsp lemon zest
6 olive-oil packed anchovy fillets, drained and minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

In a bowl, whisk together the parsley, basil, olives, cornichons, shallot, capers, garlic, jalapeno, zest, anchovies and garlic. Stir in the olive oil and then add the lemon and lime juices. Add a pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper, to taste. Let at room temperature for about 30 minutes to allow the flavors to develop.

Preheat oven to 425F.

Mix the thyme with about 1/2 cup of olive oil. Place the cauliflower steaks on a foil-lined, rimmed baking sheet. Brush both sides of the cauliflower generously with the thyme oil. Roast for 20 minutes, until the underside of the steaks are nicely browned. Flip them over and bake for another 5 minutes.

While the cauliflower is roasting, heat a medium non-stick skillet over medium-high heat and pour in about 1/2 cup of canola oil. Allow the oil to heat to a shimmer. Add the scallops in batches so as mot to crowd them. Sear for about 4 minutes. Using tongs flip each scallop over and sear for another minute, until completely opaque.

To serve; divide the spinach between plates, top each plate with 5 scallops. Drizzle with smoky orange vinaigrette. Place two cauliflower steaks on each plate and top with a generous dollop of Sauce Vierge. Serve immediately with warm crusty bread.

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Roasted Cauliflower with Sauce Vierge

Ample Bites enjoys cauliflower in almost any form. Among the cauliflower staple recipes are roasted with some melted seasoned butter, mashed (in place of mashed potatoes), and even raw with a dill-sour cream dip.

Roasted Cauliflower with Sauce Vierge combines the sweet, caramelized cauliflower with a salty, acidic and slightly spicy “green sauce”. Roasting the cauliflower is simple and, despite the length of the ingredient list for the sauce, the Sauce Vierge is just a matter of chopping and mixing by hand. The Sauce Vierge can also be served with poultry and meaty fish. It can also be used as a spread on a hearty sandwich like olive spread is used in a muffaletta sandwich.

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Roasted Cauliflower with Sauce Vierge
(Adapted from recipe courtesy of Modern Sauces, Martha Holmberg, 2012)

Makes 4 to 6 side dish servings

2 heads cauliflower (about 1 ¼ lbs each), cored and cut into 1 ½-inch florets
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
½ cup Sauce Vierge (see recipe below)

Preheat oven to 425F.

In a large bowl, toss the cauliflower with the olive oil and thyme and season generously with salt and pepper. Spread the cauliflower on one or two large rimmed baking sheets.

Roast until the florets are tender, collapsed, and golden brown on their cut faces and around the edges, at least 20 minutes and possibly longer.

Pile the cauliflower into a warmed serving bowl and drizzle generously with the sauce. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Sauce Vierge
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh basil
¼ cup finely chopped buttery green olives
2 Tbsp finely chopped cornichon (small cucumber)
1 Tbsp minced shallot
1 Tbsp drained capers, coarsely chopped
2 tsp minced jalapeno
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
6 olive-oil packed anchovy fillets, drained and minced
1 garlic clove, minced
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

In a bowl, toss together the parsley, basil, olives, cornichons, shallot, capers, chile, lemon zest, anchovies, and garlic. Stir in the olive oil and then stir in the lemon and lime juices.

Add a large pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper, to taste. Let the sauce rest at room temperature for 30 minutes to allow flavors to develop. Taste and adjust seasoning before serving. Refrigerate until ready to use.

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