I really enjoyed this dish. There was a nice balance of 3 different textures. Overall my favorite part was the quinoa apple salad and I would make that again as a side dish.
Seared Scallops with Quinoa and Apple Salad + Butternut Squash Puree
(Adapted from A Thought for Food)
For the butternut squash puree
1 small butternut squash (about 2 lbs)
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
For the quinoa salad
1 cup quinoa
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 ounce lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
For the seared scallops
1 pound sea scallops
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking pan with aluminum foil. Trim both ends of the butternut squash and cut it in half lengthwise. Using a spoon, scrape out the seeds. Drizzle olive oil over the cut side of both halves and sprinkle a teaspoon of salt over them. Place the halves face down (that's the cut side) on the baking sheet and cook in the oven for 25-30 minutes, until a sharp knife easily pierces the flesh.
While the butternut squash is cooking, prepare the quinoa. Place the quinoa and water in a pot and bring to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, reduce heat to medium low. Simmer until all the water has been absorbed, approximately 15 minutes. Remove from heat, open the lid, and let cool.
Transfer the flesh of the butternut squash to a blender (or you can put it in a bowl and use an immersion blender), along with 1/2 teaspoon garam masala, 1 tablespoon butter, and 1 teaspoon salt. Blend until smooth.
Transfer the quinoa into a bowl, along with chopped apple, parsley. In a separate bowl, whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Pour over quinoa salad and toss to combine.
Dry the sea scallops with paper towels. Season with salt and pepper.
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and butter on high heat. Once it begins to smoke, add the scallops and cook for approximately 3 minutes, or until it has browned on one side. Using tongs, flip the scallops and cook for an additional 1 to 2 minutes, depending on the size of the scallops. We grilled ours.
To plate, start by spooning 3 tablespoons of butternut squash puree onto the plate (or shallow bowl). Top with a couple spoonfuls of quinoa salad, followed by the seared scallops. Spoon some of the remaining melted butter from the pan on top of the scallops.