Butternut squash puree, seasoned with saffron, works as a sauce in this dish, nicely complementing the curry on the scallops. You may have extra sauce; store in an airtight container in the fridge. Fresh mint adds a bright note.
Adapted from Chef Matt Kline of Rudi's Portsmouth
1 medium butternut squash, peeled and seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes
½ tablespoon saffron salt to taste freshly ground black pepper to taste
12 jumbo fresh sea scallops
2 tablespoons curry powder
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons salted butter
4 cups cooked orzo
½ cup dried cranberries
¼ cup slivered almonds
3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint, divided
1. Place squash in a medium saucepan and add enough water just to cover. Cover pot and bring to a boil. Cook until squash is soft. Add saffron and puree with an immersion blender until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.
2. Rub each side of the scallops with curry powder. Heat oil in a nonstick skillet over high heat. Add scallops and sear until each side is golden brown.
3. In a saute pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add almonds and saute until they begin to toast. Add cranberries, stirring to mix. Add cooked orzo and toss until it is warm and nuts and cranberries are well distributed. Stir in 2 tablespoons of the mint.
4. To serve, divide orzo among 4 plates. Top with 3 scallops per plate. Drizzle squash puree around plate. Garnish with the remaining 1 tablespoon mint.
Makes 4 servings