RECIPE: Bay Scallops with Butternut Squash and Basil Sauce



This was inspired by a dish prepared by local Chef Joe DaSilva. He sometimes augmented the dish with roasted diced beets.

Serves 3-4


1 pound fresh bay scallops, muscle removed, rinsed and dried

1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch chunks 

1 bunch (or 2.5 oz. container) of fresh basil leaves, rinsed (about 1 cup)


Olive oil

Squeeze of lemon

Salt and Pepper


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 

butter, salt and pepper to taste.

2. While butternut squash is cooking, make the basil sauce and prep the 

scallops. Remove the small muscle on the side of the scallops, rinse well, and 


3. To make the sauce, bring a small pot of water to 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 1/2 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 and olive oil to coat. Sear scallops on one side, about 1 to 2 minutes. Turn 

and sear the other side, 1to 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and a few drops of lemon juice. 

5. Arrange the butternut squash on a large platter. Place the scallops 

around. Add a squeeze of lemon to the basil sauce and spoon around, not on, the scallops. 

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Catherine Walthers
Catherine Walthers
Catherine Walthers, Bluedot’s food editor, is a Martha’s Vineyard-based writer, culinary instructor, and private chef. A former journalist, she is the author of 4 cookbooks, including Kale, Glorious Kale, Soups + Sides, and Raising the Salad Bar. She wrote an environmental guidebook called A Greener Boston published by Chronicle Books in 1992. Follow her on Instagram @catherine_walthers.

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