This is my all-time favorite fall dinner 
with bay scallops. It was inspired by a dish prepared by Chef Joe DaSilva when he was cooking at the Standby Café.

Editor’s Note: In the late fall, you can also use roasted butternut squash in this recipe.

 

  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Butter
  • 1 pound fresh bay scallops
  • 1 bunch of fresh basil, rinsed and dried, leaves removed
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Squeeze of lemon

 

1. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil and cook squash for about 20 minutes 
until tender. Drain water. Mash squash with a potato masher. Add a little butter and salt and pepper to taste.

2. While butternut squash is cooking, prep the scallops and make the basil sauce. Remove the small muscle on the side of the scallops, rinse well, and dry.

3. To make the sauce, bring a small pot 
of water to a boil. Add the basil leaves and boil for 30 seconds (this keeps the sauce bright green). Drain and pat dry with a paper towel. Add blanched basil to a blender with 1/3 to 1/2 cup olive oil, enough to blend easily. Blend until thoroughly mixed, about 1 minute. Strain in a fine-meshed strainer. Season with a pinch of salt.

4. To cook scallops, heat one or two sauté pans over medium-high heat. Add butter or olive oil to coat. Sear scallops on one side, about 1 to 2 minutes. Turn and sear the other side. Season with salt.

Susie Middleton

5. Arrange butternut squash on a large platter. Place scallops around it. Add a squeeze of lemon to basil sauce and drizzle or spoon around, not on, the scallops.