Point Judith Scallops With Spiced Carrot Purée & Asparagus

Scallops are abundant in our area almost year-round. I am always amazed at how something so sweet can come from the ocean! Spices often pair well with foods that contain natural sweetness and so it is with carrots and scallops, here balanced with the bright flavor of asparagus and the exotic flavor of Moroccan Argan oil.
March 01, 2015


Preheat oven to 350°. Cut the carrots in 3-inch lengths. Toss carrots with a little olive oil and a touch of salt. Place them on a roasting pan lined with parchment paper and roast until knife tender, about 30 minutes. While still hot, place them in a blender with Ras el Hanout. Add a little water to make a smooth purée. Adjust seasoning and keep warm.

Bring 2 quarts of water with ¼ cup kosher salt to a boil and have a bowl of ice water ready on the side. Wash the asparagus, remove the woody ends and cut in halves or thirds. Plunge asparagus into the boiling water. Cook 1 minute, drain and transfer to ice bath to stop the cooking. When cool, transfer spears to a clean dishcloth and pat dry.

Remove the small muscle from side of each scallop (if they have not already been removed by the fishmonger). Season both sides with salt. Heat about a tablespoon of oil on a griddle or iron skillet over medium-high heat. Sear the scallops for 1 minute and turn to the other side for 30 seconds; it is important to not over cook them. The color should be light brown. Add the asparagus to the pan to warm. Remove the scallops and asparagus from the pan to a plate lined with a paper towel to drain excess oil.

In the center of six warm, shallow bowls spread the carrot purée, then place the scallops on top followed by the asparagus. Lastly drizzle with Argan oil and serve.

*Find culinary Argan oil at gourmet specialty shops or substitute with toasted sesame or walnut oil.

WINE PAIRING—Züm Riesling, Germany. At a nice price point, this Riesling has notes of acidity, a touch of sweetness and minerality that will go perfectly with the savory, sweet and spiciness in this recipe, without overpowering it. The faint sweetness of the wine will go nicely with the natural sweetness of the sea scallops and carrot purée and balance the unique blend of Moroccan spices. —Amelia Wilson, Grapes & Gourmet, Jamestown, 2015 Local Hero Award Winning Food, Wine & Retail Shop

Recipe by Matthew MacCartney, Executive Chef/Partner, Jamestown FiSH
Jamestown Edible Rhody 2015 Local Hero: Chef/Restaurant

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  • 1½ pounds carrots, peeled
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon Ras el Hanout (North African spice blend)
  • 1½ pounds asparagus
  • 18 large “dry” sea scallops
  • Cooking oil
  • 6 teaspoons Argan oil*
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