Grilled Scallop Carpaccio with Squash Purée and Mango Chimichurri

I'm not sure if it's the cooler weather, or the proximity to the pristine beaches at our current campsite, or if it's the abundance of fresh seafood markets around, but I am once again inspired to make good food. Yesterday, I decided to drive up the 30A in search of one of these markets and found Buddy's only a few miles from our campground. Buddy's is a brightly lit space with a corner dedicated to wine, floor-to-ceiling shelves of specialty food items, and two huge plexiglass seafood displays. The seafood options were all fresh caught and I chose a large pinkish slab of grouper, some fresh crab meat, and jumbo scallops. On the drive to the market, I had been daydreaming about what I might make with no certainty, as I knew the selection at the store would determine the dish.

Scallops are some of my favorite seafood and I already knew that these particular beauties were destined for the grill. Grilled scallops seemed a little elementary though, so I thought about what else I had in my tiny fridge. There was a bunch of fresh parsley, which I always picked up for herb dressings and chimichurri sauce. I had a nice ripe mango too that needed to be used. Okay, so a mango puree with scallops... No, too basic, too expected. But what about a twist on the chimichurri? The mango would add a hint of fruity sweetness to the garlicky sauce, which would go well with the mild flavor of the scallops. There was also a buttercup squash that has been patiently waiting to make it's debut and I decided that a nice, starchy purée would be a great compliment to the lightness of the dish as it was forming in my imagination. Out of the depths of my culinary memory, the term carpaccio made an appearance. And I knew what I was to make.

The squash provides a good, rich base to the mostly raw meat resting atop and the chimichurri contributes a punch of heat and sweet to the dish. Briefly grilling the scallops adds a depth of flavor that allows them to stand up to the brightness of the chimichurri and starchiness of the squash. Lemon to finish and I would have my carpaccio.

Prep Time - 5 minutes | Cook Time - 30 minutes | Total Time - 45 minutes

Serves 4

(8) Large Scallops
Sea Salt and Pepper
Half of a Lemon

1/2 Buttercup Squash
4 tbsp Olive Oil
1 tbsp Agave or Honey
Sea Salt and Pepper

Mango Chimichurri
(2) Cloves of Garlic, minced
1/4 cup Mango, minced
2 tbsp Olive Oil
1 tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice
Small Handful of Fresh Parsley, minced
1-2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes (to preference)
Sea Salt and Cracked Pepper


  1. Pre-heat oven to 375° and grill to high.
  2. Clean squash and cut into thirds.
  3. Place buttercup squash meat up on a lined baking sheet.
  4. Drizzle squash with 2 tbsp olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and pepper, then bake for 25-30 minutes or until tender. Set aside to cool.
  5. Mix together the ingredients for the chimichurri sauce, either in a food processor or by hand.
  6. When squash has cooled, scoop out meat with spoon into a food processor. 
  7. Combine roasted squash, (2) tbsp olive oil, agave or honey, lemon juice, and more sea salt and pepper in processor. Blend until smooth.
  8. Thoroughly wash and dry scallops, then sprinkle with sea salt and pepper.
  9. Grill scallops for 2-4 minutes per side or just until char marks appear.
  10. Slice grilled scallops very thinly. The insides of the scallops should be mostly raw.
  11. Create a thin layer of the squash purée on a platter.
  12. Place scallop slices in an overlapping pattern atop the purée.
  13. Spoon chimichurri sauce over scallops.
  14. Squeeze lemon juice over entire dish.
  15. Garnish with avocado, sliced mango, and parsley.