As autumn leaves drift by the window and the festive cheer of the holiday season warms our homes, there’s a dish that stands out as a culinary centerpiece – the Buttery Mashed Pumpkin with Thyme Scented Scallops. This dish isn’t just a feast for the palate; it’s a vibrant tableau for the eyes, too, capturing the essence of fall with every spoonful and every bite.
Why This Dish is a Holiday Must-Have
Pumpkins are the spirit of fall – carved into jack-o’-lanterns, gracing our porches, and serving as the centerpiece of our Thanksgiving tables. But their role extends beyond decoration; they are a treasure trove of flavor and nutrition. And when paired with the delicate, sweet flesh of sea scallops, they create a symphony of flavors that is both grounding and indulgent.
This recipe for Buttery Mashed Pumpkin with Thyme Scented Scallops requires minimal effort but promises a dish that is nothing short of show-stopping. The scallops require just a touch of care to unleash their full, succulent potential, while the pumpkins are transformed into a creamy, buttery concoction that is the perfect canvas for the thyme’s aromatic whispers.
The Beauty and Benefits of the Ingredients
Utilizing the leftover decorative pumpkins from your fall festivities is not only economical but also an excellent way to reduce waste. These pumpkins are more than just decor; they are packed with vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants, making the buttery mash not just tasty but also incredibly beneficial for your health.
Scallops, those gems of the sea, are not only luxurious in texture and taste but are also rich in protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which are crucial for a healthy heart and brain. They cook quickly, making them an excellent choice for a sophisticated yet easy-to-prepare holiday meal.
The Perfect Harmony of Flavors and Textures
Here’s the heart of the dish – a beautifully roasted pumpkin, mashed to perfection with a touch of butter, paired with perfectly seared scallops that are lightly kissed with thyme. The result is a dish that balances the natural sweetness of the pumpkin and scallops with the savory depth of herbs and the richness of the butter.
Preparing Your Buttery Mashed Pumpkin with Thyme Scented Scallops
The process is simple: roast your pumpkin until it’s fork-tender, mash it with a generous knob of butter, and season to your heart’s content. Then, sear your scallops to golden perfection, allowing the thyme to infuse its flavor into the tender seafood.Print
- Preheat oven to 400-degrees
- Prepare pumpkin by washing and cutting it in half, carefully!
- Remove seeds. Lightly oil the flesh.
- Place flesh-side down onto a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Bake until fork tender. About 45-60 minutes.
- If using a convection oven, it can take 1/3 less time. About 40 minutes.
- Once the pumpkin is cooked, remove the flesh into a bolw and mash with a fork.
- Add the butter and salt to taste.
- Cover and set aside.
- Rinse scallops and pat dry.
- In a medium to large skillet heat to medium high heat.
- Melt 1 Tbsp. Butter and 2 Tbsp. Olive oil in the skillet. Its OK if butter browns.
- Place dried scallops in the pan, cover and time 2 minutes. Flip after 2 minutes.
- Sprinkle with 1 tsp. of the thyme, cover and time again for another 2-minutes.
- Once scallops are finished remove from heat.
- Place in a bowl with the juices and cover to keep warm.
- In the same pan, warm mashed pumpkin and butter.
- Salt to taste
- Plate mashed pumpkin and top with scallops.
- Garnish with more fresh thyme and a small amount of flake salt.
- Pegs served with a side of seared Romanesco cauliflower and a salad. It was the perfect meal!
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 60 minutes
To serve, spoon a velvety mound of the mashed pumpkin onto each plate, creating a luxurious bed for the scallops. Top with the golden-brown scallops, drizzle with the pan juices for added decadence, and garnish with a sprinkle of thyme and a pinch of flake salt to elevate the flavors.
This dish is versatile – serve it as the main course, accompanied by a side of seared Romanesco cauliflower and a fresh salad, and you have a complete, nutritious, and utterly delicious meal that embodies the holiday spirit.
More good reasons this dish is a stand out meal!
Pumpkin and wild scallops are not only delicious, they both are packed with nutrients that offer various health benefits.
Benefits of Pumpkin:
- Nutrient-Rich: Pumpkin is loaded with vitamins and minerals while being low in calories. It’s especially high in vitamin A, which is important for vision, skin health, and immune function.
- High in Antioxidants: The bright orange color of pumpkin comes from its beta-carotene content, an antioxidant that the body converts into vitamin A. Pumpkins are also rich in other antioxidants, such as lutein and zeaxanthin, which may protect your eyes against sight loss.
- Heart Health: Pumpkin seeds are a good source of potassium, vitamin C, fiber, and antioxidants, which have been linked to heart health benefits.
- Immunity Booster: Vitamin A, C, and E, as well as iron and folate in pumpkin, can strengthen your immune system.
- Weight Loss Friendly: Pumpkin is high in fiber, which slows digestion and can help you feel fuller for longer – supporting weight loss goals.
- Skin Protection: Antioxidants in pumpkin may protect the skin against UV rays and promote skin health.
Benefits of Wild Scallops:
- Protein Source: Scallops are more than 80% protein and provide a lean source of protein.
- Heart Health: They are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and potassium, nutrients that are beneficial for heart health.
- Mineral-Rich: Scallops are a good source of minerals, including zinc, magnesium, and copper, which are important for brain health, immunity, and energy levels.
- Low in Fat: Scallops are low in total fat and contain mostly healthy unsaturated fats.
- Low-Calorie: Scallops are low in calories, providing a way to add a rich, satisfying element to meals without excessive calories.
- B12 Vitamin: They are an excellent source of B12, which is essential for nerve health and metabolism.
More yummy Curry Girls Kitchen recipes using pumpkin and scallops! Pumpkin bread, Pumpkin muffins, Pumpkin Red Lentil Soup, and in a Smoothie. We love adding scallops into pasta and over rice or just as is!
Both pumpkin and wild scallops are versatile foods that can be included in a healthy, balanced diet. They offer a wealth of health benefits and can be prepared in a variety of delicious ways, from savory to sweet dishes with pumpkin and various cooking methods for scallops like searing, grilling, or baking.
Buttery Mashed Pumpkin with Thyme Scented Scallops is more than a meal; it’s an experience – one that embodies the coziness and joy of the holiday season. It’s a reminder that the best of holiday cooking is about bringing simple ingredients together to create something truly magical.
So this season, as you gather around the table with friends and family, delight in the flavors of the sea and the harvest with this sumptuous dish that promises to be the star of your holiday spread. It’s a celebration of taste, a nod to tradition, and a fresh take on holiday flavors, all rolled into one irresistible recipe.