Seared Scallops with Cauliflower Purée and Anchovy Sauce

Juan Real Urbieta

Ristorante Bartolotta, Wauwatosa, WI

At his Beard House dinner, Juan Real Urbieta served these scallops with cauliflower and anchovy butter sauce under a mountain of shaved white truffles. This version may lack his extravagant garnish, but we think it’s delicious.


Cauliflower Purée:

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 russet potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/2 head of cauliflower, cut into florets

Anchovy Sauce:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 4 anchovy filets, finely minced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely minced to a paste
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch


  • 8 dry sea scallops
  • Salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground white pepper, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil


To make the cauliflower purée, bring the cream and butter to a simmer in a medium heavy bottomed pot over medium heat and add the cubed potato. Simmer for about 5 minutes and add the cauliflower florets. Cook for an additional 10 to 15 minutes or until potatoes and cauliflower are tender. Drain in a colander, reserving the cream. Transfer the cauliflower and potatoes to a food processor and purée until very smooth, adding small amounts of the cream as necessary to make a smooth purée. Season with salt and white pepper to taste.

To make the sauce, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a heavy bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the anchovy and garlic and sauté for 30 seconds. Add the white wine and reduce to about half, about 5 minutes. In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch with just enough water to dissolve it. Lower the heat and add the cornstarch, stirring with a whisk. Allow to simmer until the mixture thickens, about 2 to 3 minutes, and then start adding small amounts of butter at a time, stirring constantly with a whisk, making sure that each addition of butter is incorporated before adding more, until the all remaining butter has been incorporated.

Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Heat the olive oil in an ovenproof pan over medium-high heat. Season the scallops with salt and pepper. Place in the pan and sear the scallops until golden brown, about 1 to 2 minutes on each side. Transfer the skillet to the oven and cook the scallops for 3 minutes. To serve, arrange the scallops over the cauliflower purée and spoon the anchovy sauce over the scallops and around the plate.


4 servings