Red Beet Puree, Braised Kale and Pan-Fried Scallops

Foodista Cookbook Entry

Category: Main Dishes | Blog URL:

This recipe was entered in The Foodista Best of Food Blogs Cookbook contest, a compilation of the world’s best food blogs which was published in Fall 2010.


1 medium beet
1/2 bunch kale, curly or other
salt and pepper to taste


Wash beet, wrap in foil.
Bake beet at 375 degrees for 30-45 minutes (you might want to roast a whole bunch, as they keep in the fridge forever.)
Meanwhile, completely remove stems from kale and wash.
Cook kale in a large pot of boiling water, it'll take about 5 minutes to fully cook.
Drain the kale, rince in cold water, squeeze out excess water, set aside.
When beets are cooked, and cool enough to handle, peel and chop them.
Throw in a blender jug or in a stick blender jar. Puree, adding cream as needed to ease the pureeing process.
Prepare the scallops: look them over to make sure there is no grit left, rince them in cold water if necessary and thoroughly pat dry. Salt and pepper both sides.
In a pan (not a non-stick if possible), melt enough butter to grease the whole surface on medium heat.
When butter starts browning, place scallops down on one of its flat sides.
When caramelisation starts creeping up the sides of the scallops (¼inch), flip them over and turn the heat off.
If you do not see any caramelisation, only a whitish juice, turn up the heat, your pan is too cold.
Rough chop the kale.
Set scallops aside. In the same pan, add another pat of butter and let it brown.
Throw in the kale, saute until warmed through.
Plate a generous spoonful of beet puree, place a small mound of kale on top, and top with scallops.




Kale is such a beautiful vegetable that I couldn't help myself from having a veritable photo session with the frilly greens!

As its dark colours can attest, kale is a real nutritional powerhouse, unfortunately, it isn't a well liked vegetable. Which is bizarre, because as far as green vegetables go, it isn't particularly strong flavoured (like cabbage), bitter (like rapini) or tongue rasping (like swisschard). No, I can't really figure out why so many people back away from this lovely green.

It is a most forgiving vegetable: first of all, it keeps for a ridiculously long time -these babies have been waiting in a plastic bag, out in my garden shed for close to a month, and they are still full of life! Secondly, they are one of the few vegetables that can take any amount of cooking. In fact, kale likes to be well done.

Unlike most other greens that are best eaten underdone, kale is actually more palatable if it is thoroughly cooked (6-10 minutes in boiling water), and cooked some more (drained, rinsed, then thrown in a pan with butter, or in some tomato sauce, or reheated with leftover mashed potatoes....) Indeed, if you like to have green bits in your stews and casseroles, kale is the veg for you: it will be more than happy to stew for a couple of hours in a Crockpot or braise in the oven with whatever you want. The green kales may lose some of their brightness, but they will not turn muddy like, say, swisschard.... and the purple and pink kales will pretty much keep their hues.

Kale, like many of its kissing cousins in the cabbage family, is a very hardy vegetable: you may have noticed pretty, pink cabbages in some gardens, frosted over or even covered in snow. Although these decorative kales were bred for their colours, they are actually edible, and repeated frosts and snow cover renders them more digestible (just like Brussel sprouts!) This hardiness makes it the ideal winter vegetable for our northern climate: it is, in theory, available until at least late February, however its low popularity makes it sometimes hard to find locally. I have seen imported kale at the supermarket, but they tend to come from warmer climes and are sometimes tough because they were not subjected to frost. If you must buy imported kale, cook it 'to death' or place in the freezer before eating.

Better yet, if you have room for a couple of planters, plant some kale by your door step. It'll make a beautiful, seasonal display, and subjected to the frosty winds and snow, it will provide you with several tasty meals!

You may recall my raving-ons about beet purée. Well here it is in all its glory: pan seared giant scallops on a bed of buttered kale and a lovely beet purée.

Bon app'!


3 as a starter, or 2 as a main


Saturday, December 19, 2009 - 2:30pm


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