It's not that the chef is wildly inventive or that he uses obscure, exotic ingredients, or that he has a knack for twisting carrots into doves. No. I like this restaurant because I always come away feeling perfectly satisfied without feeling like a bloated fish. That's the magic.
The focus of the meals tends to be on quality proteins, delicious, naturally occurring fats and smart carbohydrates (the full range of low glycemic carbohydrates). I love the use of seasonal squash, pumpkin and beets on the fall menu. The meals are simple but the use of ingredients is exquisite and bursting with flavour.
This seared scallop dish is typical of the kind of food combination you might find at The Wellington Gastropub. (If you can figure out how their website works you get bonus marks).
This a straightforward recipe that you can largely assemble ahead of time. A delicious date night meal!
Seared Scallops over roasted mesquite Squash and Garlic Spinach:
- 6 scallops
- 1 small acorn squash, roasted and mashed
- 1 tsp ground mesquite seeds (mesquite seasoning)
- 6 cups of spinach
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- Sea salt & cracked pepper
You can prepare the squash and spinach ahead of time if you like, leaving only the scallops and squash seeds to deal with at show time.
Prepare squash for roasting using this method. Reserve seeds for toasting. Once squash is cooked, remove it from oven and allow it to cool. Separate flesh from skin and, using a potato masher or fork, mash the squash (this should be very easy to do if the squash is sufficiently cooked). Add 1 Tbsp of butter and mesquite seasoning to squash. Mix and set aside.
For spinach, warm a large skillet on stove over low heat with a touch of olive oil. Add crushed garlic and a sprinkle of sea salt. Once garlic becomes fragrant (but not browned, keep at low heat), add spinach. You can gently increase heat to medium-low as you stir greens. The wilting process usually only takes about 5 minutes or so. Set spinach garlic mixture aside once fully wilted.
15 minutes before meal time, warm squash and spinach on low heat in separate pots on stove.
Two other scallop recipes I can't wait to try are:
Kristy's Ice Wine Scallops at Eat, Play, Love; and
Sally's Scallops in Orange-Caramel Sauce at Bewitching Kitchen.