Rutabaga and Celeriac Puree with Seared Scallops

Published by Faith Durand in on April 2010

serves 4

Ingredients for the puree:

  • 2 small to medium-sized celery roots, about 3/4 pound 
  • 2 small to medium-sized rutabagas, about 3/4 pound
  • Olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup full-fat sour cream
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Freshly ground nutmeg

For the scallops:

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds sea scallops, patted dry, thoroughly
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. Peel the celeriac and rutabagas. (Here are some tips on peeling the knobbly celeriac.) Cut the vegetables into small, 1/2-inch or so, pieces.
  2. In a deep, large (at least 4-quarts) sauté pan or cooking pot, heat a generous drizzle of olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped vegetables and the garlic and cook over medium heat for about 2 minutes, stirring and turning the vegetables so they are coated with the oil. Add a generous amount of salt and black pepper. Add the stock and bring to a simmer. Turn the heat to low and partially cover the pan. Cook for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the vegetables are quite tender.
  3. Turn off the heat and transfer the vegetables and broth (in batches, if necessary) to a blender or food processor. If using a blender, hold the lid down TIGHTLY with a towel! Blend until smooth and creamy. Taste and add salt if necessary (I added an additional 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt). Add the sour cream and blend again. Return to the pan and season to taste with black pepper and nutmeg. Keep warm over a very low flame, stirring occasionally.
  4. To cook the scallops, heat the butter and olive oil in a wide, flat skillet or sauté pan over medium-high heat. When the foaming subsides, pat the scallops dry one last time and add the scallops to the skillet. Sprinkle the scallops with salt and pepper and cook for about 1 1/2 minutes. Then flip over and cook for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes on the other side, sprinkling with salt and pepper as they cook.
  5. Remove and place on a bed of the puree and serve immediately.