Lunchbreak: Seared Sea Scallops with Cauliflower Puree

Gary Baca, Executive Chef at Michael Jordan’s Restaurant (Oak Brook)

Michael Jordan’s Restaurant – Oak Brook

1225 W. 22nd Street, Oak Brook, IL



Seared Sea Scallops with Cauliflower Puree


3-5 each per serving scallops

1 oz. (2 T) canola oil

¾ cup cauliflower puree, heated (cauliflower puree recipe below)

1 tablespoon butter

Zest and juice of 1 Meyer lemon

¼ cup riced cauliflower confetti

Pinch of fresh thyme

Watercress oil (can purchase in a store or online)


  1. Sear scallops and oil in a hot saute pan until golden, about 2-3 minutes. Turn and finish cooking for 2 minutes.
  2. Arrange seared scallops over cauliflower puree
  3. Heat butter until it begins to sizzle. Add cauliflower and thyme, saute for 1 minute. Add lemon juice & zest. Remove from heat.
  4. Spoon over scallops and around plate
  5. Finish with a drizzle of watercress oil


Cauliflower Puree (makes approximately 2 cups)


½ head cauliflower, timed, cut


½ teaspoon Kosher Salt

½ cup milk

1 teaspoon butter

¼ teaspoon Kosher Salt

Pinch of white pepper


  1. Bring salted water to a boil. Add cut cauliflower
  2. Boil for 8 minutes
  3. Drain
  4. Place in pitcher of blender
  5. Add half of milk and puree until smooth
  6. Add salt, white pepper and butter
  7. Puree until smooth
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