Celery Root Carbonara with Scallops; Event Catering Like a Pro


Think event catering is just for the professionals? Take these tips and cook like a chef to impress your guests. With the right ingredients and preparation, you’ll make it look easy!


Tip: When buying scallops, look for the freshest you can find. Avoid frozen scallops as these don’t brown when searing and lack flavor. A good test for fresh scallops is whether they’re dry in the packaging. When scallops have been frozen and thawed out, juices (and flavor) run out of the scallop.


3 TBS olive oil

2 TBS unsalted butter 

3 cups peeled small diced celery root (also known as celery knobs) (NB: If celery root isn’t in season, you can substitute with parsnip or another root vegetable.) 

2 TBS fresh chopped garlic

2/3 cup red quinoa

1 cup dry white wine (chardonnay works well) 

¼ cup small chopped sweet onion 

½ cup sweet peas (Frozen are fine if fresh aren’t in season)

¼ cup diced raw bacon of choice 

A squeeze of lemon 

Salt and pepper to taste 

garnish; good reduced balsamic


In a medium to large pot over medium heat, sauté bacon until just before it’s crispy. 

Add 2 tablespoons of oil, onions and garlic and cook with bacon until tender (approximately 2-4 minutes) then add celery root and cook for 2-4 more minutes.


Deglaze with wine and reduce half way. Start adding quinoa (approximately half of it) and reduce over a low heat. Don’t let it boil or it will get messy. Add the remainder of the quinoa until celery root is tender. 


Add peas and cook 2-3 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon. 

Season scallops. Heat a pan on a medium to high heat with 1 tablespoon of oil and 2 tablespoons of butter. Sear scallops until golden brown and then flip. To know when they’re done, they should be firm to touch. Larger scallops will take about 6-8 minutes in pan (5 minutes over high heat getting them browned and 2-3 minutes over lower heat finishing them off).


When the scallops are done, plate up. Put the Carbonara mixture in a small bowl with one or two scallops on top per person. Drizzle with good quality balsamic.



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