14 ounces celery root, peeled, quartered and cut into ¼-inch-thick slices
2 cups whole milk
Fine sea salt
1 1/2 pounds sea scallops, tough muscle removed from side, if necessary
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3/4cup coarse plain breadcrumbs
1/2 cup walnut pieces, finely chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
Freshly ground black pepper

In a medium saucepan, combine celery root, milk and 1/2 teaspoon salt; bring to a simmer and cook until tender, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, season scallops on both sides with 1/4 teaspoon salt. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over high heat. In 2 batches, cook scallops, 2 minutes per side. Transfer scallops to a plate.

In a bowl, toss together breadcrumbs, walnuts, parsley and 1 tablespoon oil.

Heat oven to broil.

Reserving 1/3 cup cooking liquid, drain celery root. In a blender, combine celery root, cooking liquid, remaining tablespoon oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt and generous pinch pepper. Purée until smooth. Transfer purée to 4 individual gratin dishes or 1 (2-quart) gratin dish; spread evenly. Top with scallops, then sprinkle with breadcrumb mixture.

Broil scallops about 4 inches from heat until golden, about 3 minutes.

La Cucina, January/February 2012, page 30

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