November 15, 2023

Ask A Chef: The Royal’s Albert Ponzo Shares His Recipe for Autumn Scallops

Recipe: Albert Ponzo

Q: My husband and I recently stayed at The Royal for the first time and ate at their restaurant while there. The Autumn Scallops were fab! Is it possible to get the recipe? – Chelsea, Toronto

A: The Royal’s chef, Albert Ponzo created this dish for Prince Edward County’s Countylicious event to showcase the great vegetables the region has to offer, including radishes and brussels sprouts, and in-season seafood. “As the temperature drops, scallops are at their peak,” says Albert. It’s then all placed on top of a bed of rich, creamy cauliflower purée. “This dish looks much harder than it is, if you’re hosting this season, it’s a standout way to impress your guests.”


Cauliflower Purée

  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into three-inch pieces
  • 2 small shallots, julienned
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • Kosher salt, to taste

Autumn Veg

  • 4 watermelon radish
  • 1 piece butternut squash
  • 20 brussels sprouts
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt, to taste

Scallops and Beurre Noisette

  • 10 to 20 scallops
  • Kosher Salt to taste
  • 1 small shallot brunoised (for beurre noisette)
  • 1 lemon
  • Extra virgin olive oil


Yield: Serves 4

Make Cauliflower Purée

  1. Set oven to 450F.
  2. Line baking tray with parchment paper. Toss cauliflower in olive oil on tray and roast for 15 minutes until golden brown and beginning to soften.
  3. Heat olive oil in medium saucepan. Cook shallots and garlic until tender. Add white wine and roasted cauliflower and continue cooking until soft. Let cool slightly.
  4. Purée cauliflower mixture in blender, adding butter. Season with salt to taste.

Make Autumn Veg

  1. Reduce oven to 375F. Line three roasting pans with parchment paper.
  2. Depending on size, cut each watermelon radish into 4 to 6 wedges. Coat in olive oil and place on roasting tray with parchment paper.
  3. Peel squash, cut in half and remove seeds. Cut each half into 3″ x 1″ pieces. Coat in olive oil and place on roasting tray with parchment paper.
  4. Cut brussels sprouts in half and remove any waxy outer leaves. Coat in olive oil and place on roasting tray with parchment paper.
  5. Roast vegetables separately. Times will vary per pan, but they should take between 15 to 25 minutes until cooked through and golden brown. Cooking vegetables separately ensures control of separate roasting times.
  6. Remove vegetables from oven and add salt to taste.

Make Scallops and Beurre Noisette

  1. Heat olive oil in nonstick or cast-iron pan on high.
  2. Season scallops with salt on both sides.
  3. Place scallop presentation side down and away from you in pan. Cook for 1-2 minutes on first side until golden brown. Flip scallop and add knob of butter to pan for last minute of cooking. Watch timing closely: scallops taste best medium rare; if cooked too much they become rubbery.
  4. Transfer scallops to plate lined with paper towel and let drain.
  5. Drain and wipe pan and return to medium-high heat.
  6. Add shallots to pan and sauté quickly until translucent.
  7. Add rest of the butter and continue cooking until butter begins to brown and smell nutty. Remove from heat and add lemon juice to stop cooking. Stir vigorously as butter will begin to foam and could boil over. Voila! Beurre Noisette.
  8. Add salt and lemon to taste, then pour beurre noisette into warm container.

Assemble and Serve

  1. Spoon two tablespoons of hot cauliflower puree on four plates, creating bed for vegetables.
  2. Arrange hot vegetables on top of bed of cauliflower purée, alternating between brussels sprouts, watermelon radish and squash.
  3. Arrange four warm scallops on purée and sauce beurre noisette around plate, reserving shallots for tops of scallops. Serve and enjoy!
Author: Alexandra Whyte

Jordan Barlow (Albert's portrait)/courtesy of The Royal (scallops)