Celeriac is unlikely to win any vegetable beauty awards, but it makes a deliciously simple salad as celeriac remoulade that pairs perfectly with pan-seared scallops. Some crisped chorizo round this out into a flavorful, elegant but quick and easy meal.
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I've loved scallops for a long time and they are always something I am drawn to if I see them on the menu in a restaurant. Some of those dishes I have recreated at home, like scallop pasta. Plus I have made up my own ways to enjoy them as well, such as scallops with cranberry bacon jam.
One of the things that is great about them is they are quick and easy to make. But you do need to watch you don't overpower their delicate flavor. Bacon and chorizo (as in my scallop and chorizo stacks) pair well, and celeriac's fresh, earthy flavor works well too.
What is celeriac or celery root?
Celeriac, or celery root as it is often called in the US, is exactly as the latter name suggests - it is the root of the vegetable celery. It is a bulb-like, white root vegetable but as I mention, it's often not that pretty when you first see it.
There are usually multiple roots, some like hairs and others thicker, all over that you need to cut back. But inside is a gently celery-flavored root that is definitely worth a try.
What is celeriac remoulade?
The name might sound fancy, but celeriac remoulade is actually a simple raw salad of grated celeriac, cream, lemon and dijon mustard. It has a lovely fresh crunch that works perfectly with the crisp chorizo and meltingly smooth scallops.
You can also make the remoulade ahead (or make extra for another time) and keep it in the fridge for a day or two. The lemon in there will stop the celeriac discoloring, although it may lose a little crunch if kept more than a day.
Tips for making this dish
Celeriac remoulade is really easy to make as you just grate the celeriac and mix everything else in. Be sure to add the lemon promptly to save the celeriac browning.
The scallops cook up in just a few minutes, and the chorizo even less. It might be tempting to cook them together, which is fine if you want some of the chorizo-colored fat and flavor on the scallops, but I prefer to do them separately and just enjoy the buttery glaze on the scallops.
When you cook the scallops, make sure your skillet/frying pan is hot before you add the scallops - you can test with a drop of water to see if it sizzles.
Don't be tempted to turn them too early as you won't get that nice searing and slight caramelization if you turn them too much or too soon.
Just wait until you can see the sides showing signs of cooking and they are probably there. It may take a bit of practice, but that means more excuses to have scallops again - what a hardship!
The flavors of these pan-seared scallops with celeriac remoulade are fairly delicate, apart from that slight spice from the chorizo. Yet despite this, you can really taste them all and they all work so well together.
This dish has freshness, a touch of comfort, as well as feeling indulgent all in one. It's truly delicious, and being so quick to make there's no excuse not to try it. I hope you will.
Looking for more quick seafood recipes? Try these:
- Pan fried sea bass with salsa verde
- Sardinian fregola with clams (a small pasta)
- Easy pad Thai
- Korean sashimi rice bowl, hoedeopbap
- And if you're looking for more ideas for celeriac, try my apple celeriac salad (with bacon!), plus this article has some tasty-looking recipes and tips.
Celeriac remoulade, pan seared scallops and chorizo
For the celeriac remoulade
- 7 oz celeriac 200g, approx - peeled weight, 2 cups when grated (1 small-med celeriac)
- 2 tablespoon parsley optional, roughly chopped
- 3 tablespoon heavy cream double cream, or can use sour cream
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice or a little more to taste
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard or a little more to taste
- ground pepper
For rest of dish
- ½ tablespoon butter 5g, approx, for frying
- 6 scallops large
- 8 slices Spanish chorizo alternatively use smoked bacon
- Coarsely grate the celeriac and add the parsley (if using), cream, lemon juice, mustard and a few grindings of pepper and mix well. Put on to two plates.
- Warm a little butter in a small skillet/frying pan then add the scallops. Cook around 3-4 minutes on each side, depending on thickness. Do not be tempted to turn too early and turn a few times - allow them to cook on one side and turn only once or you won't get a nice caramelization from the butter.
- Remove the scallops and add to the plates. Put the chorizo slices in the pan and cook around 1 minute on each side so they crisp gently.
- Drain and add to the plates and serve.
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