Sauted Scallops with Butternut Squash and Celery Root Hash
by Chris Parsons
1 pound Nantucket Bay Scallops (I just bought what was available)
1 cup diced celery root, cut in inch cubes (oops! I cut these way too big! Then I got obsessive and went back to cut the cubes in half, then came to my senses. Sure, they'd look great perfect and small and even, but that's someone else's life. Cut the squash and celery root however big or small you like.)
1 cup diced butternut squash, cut in inch cubes
Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
Fleur de Sel (uh-huh)
Chopped chives (this, I can do)
4 Quail eggs (I don't think so)
Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Cook celery root in water for about 30 seconds, until just tender, then remove from water and place immediately into a bath of ice water for one minute to stop the cooking. Repeat the same steps with the diced butternut squash, blanching in the hot water and then shocking it the ice bath. Set both aside. (Of course I did these all at the same time, not in two batches, and I skipped over the cold water shocking, to no ill effects.)
Pat scallops dry and season with salt and pepper. Heat a non-stick saut pan to high. Add olive oil to the pan, and then add seasoned scallops. (You really should pat the scallops dry, and you should wait until the pan and oil are hot so you'll get a good sear on the scallops.) Periodically shake the pan to cook scallops evenly. When scallops are golden brown, add butter, celery root and butternut squash, and cook until warmed through. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Arrange the completed hash neatly in the center of four appetizer-sized plates. Top each with a quail egg cooked sunny-side up, then garnish with chopped chives and fleur de sel. (You know - or don't.)
Makes 4 appetizer servings. This hash also makes a nice garnish for squash soup and is tasty as a breakfast side dish. (I made it as dinner and we had more than enough for four - with one not eating scallops, that is.)
Parsons suggests serving this as an appetizer garnished with quail eggs and Fleur de Sel. I'm sure that would take this dish to even higher heights. Next time, definitely a quail egg. Meanwhile, I made this as a quail-egg-free dinner for my family. It was awesome. Never mind that P spit out the celery root, or that E diplomatically said squash wasn't really his thing, or that when I asked how he liked it, BD answered cheerfully, "I'm pretending the squash is sweet potato!"
I loved this, and if you're not like them, you will, too.