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Scallops, Cauliflower, Brown Butter

Serves 4

I LIKE PLAYING WITH COLOURS WHEN I’M COMPOSING A DISH and I really connect with monochromatic compositions like this one. Aside from its visual appeal, I enjoy the way its textural contrasts play out. The dish is very fresh and simple but also quite refined. It’s a very good example of my style of cooking.

Simon Mathys

Chef, Mastard



  • 1 medium cauliflower
  • vegetable oil
  • salt
  • 500 ml (2 cups) whipping cream
  • 225 g (½ lb) butter
  • 4 large (U10) dry-packed scallops


Cut four florets — about 5 cm (2”) long — from the cauliflower and slice them as thinly as possible on a mandoline. Transfer slices to a bowl and toss with just enough oil to coat and a pinch of salt. Set aside. Cut the rest of the head of cauliflower into large chunks and transfer to a saucepan. Add cream to cover by about three-quarters and heat on medium until cauliflower yields easily when pierced with a knife — about 15 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer cauliflower to a blender. Pulse on high speed while incorporating half of the butter, one piece at a time, until emulsified. Add salt to taste, transfer to a bowl. Reserve in the refrigerator.

Transfer remaining butter to a small saucepan on medium heat. When the butter melts, stir. Once it foams, begins to bronze and emits a nutty aroma, remove from heat and immediately strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. Set aside.
Slice each scallop crosswise into six equal pieces. Transfer to a bowl and toss with just enough oil to coat and a pinch of salt.

To finish, arrange six slices of scallop in a double row on a plate. Top one row with raw cauliflower slices and place one tablespoon of chilled cauliflower purée alongside. Dress the second row of scallops with a tablespoon of brown butter. Repeat with the remaining three plates.Photos by Philippe Richelet