Seared Scallops with Chestnut Puree

Blood orange vinaigrette brightens this simple dish.

Preparation time

  • Yield Serves 4
  • Total time 30 Minutes


  • 1 cup packaged precooked chestnuts
  • 1/2 cup crushed packaged precooked chestnuts
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons fresh blood orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 16 diver sea scallops (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme


  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. Place 1 cup chestnuts on a baking sheet, bake at 375° for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Place 1/2 cup crushed chestnuts on a baking sheet, bake at 375° for 5 minutes or until golden brown. Set aside.
  3. Combine toasted whole chestnuts and milk in a blender, process until smooth. Heat a small saucepan over medium heat. Add chestnut mixture, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper to pan, cook 3 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring occasionally. Keep warm.
  4. Combine juice, vinegar, and olive oil in a small bowl, stirring well with a whisk.
  5. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle scallops with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add canola oil to pan, swirl to coat. Add scallops, working in batches if necessary to avoid crowding, cook 3 minutes or until browned on both sides and done, turning once. Pour off any oil. Reduce heat to medium. Add butter, cook 2 minutes or until browned. Stir in thyme.
  6. Place 5 tablespoons puree on each of 4 plates, top each serving with 4 scallops. Drizzle each with 1 1/2 teaspoons butter mixture and 1 tablespoon juice mixture. Top each with 2 tablespoons toasted crushed chestnuts.