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Sautéed Scallops with Celery Root Purée and Herb Oil

This easy, yet impressive dish, will wow your dinner guests. The purée provides a perfect nest for sautéed scallops, and a drizzle of simple but intensely flavored herb oil completes this delectable dish.

Cuisine French
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 6
Author Susan Herrmann Loomis


  • ¼ cup firmly packed fresh flat­ leaf parsley or basil leaves
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) olive oil extra virgin
  • 1 large (1¾ pounds; 875 g each) celery root peeled and cut into ½-inch (1.3 cm) pieces
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) crème fraîche
  • 18 sea scallops trimmed and rinsed, chilled
  • Fleur de sel


  1. Mince the herb leaves and mix them with¼ cup (60 ml) of the oil in a small bowl. Set aside.
  2. Place the celery root in a heavy-bottomed skillet over very low heat. Season with fine salt and pepper, add ½ cup (125 ml) of water, cover, and cook until the celery root is tender through, about 20 minutes, checking from time to time to be sure it isn't sticking to the pan. If necessary, add a bit more water during cooking to keep it from sticking.

  3. When the celery root is tender through, transfer it to a food processor and puree. Add the crème fraîche, pro­cess, adjust the seasoning, and keep it hot over the lowest possible heat on your stove, or in a very low-temperature oven.

  4. Heat the remaining 4 teaspoons of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When it's hot, add the scallops and cook until they are golden on one side, about 3 minutes. Carefully turn the scallops and cook until they are golden on the other side, about 2 minutes. Season them with salt and pepper and remove from the heat.
  5. To serve, divide the purée among six warmed plates, placing it in the center and shaping it in a disk. Place three scallops atop each disk of purée then drizzle the herb oil around the scallops and the purée. Season with fleur de sel and serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

Note: When you shop for scallops, look for firmness. Avoid them if they are bulgy or sitting in cloudy liquid.