Ina Garten’s Easy Barefoot Contessa Dinner That’s ‘Ready in No Time’

Want a fancy Barefoot Contessa dinner that doesn’t involve spending hours in the kitchen? Ina Garten has an easy recipe that ticks all the boxes. The Food Network star’s Seared Scallops and Potato Celery Root Purée might sound intimidating but Garten proves just how simple it is. 

Ina Garten can make Seared Scallops with Truffled Potato Celery Root Purée ‘really fast’

Ina Garten smiles as she prepares to sign books at a book signing event
Ina Garten | Michael Bezjian/WireImage

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Seared Scallops and Potato Celery Root Purée only sounds like it takes all day to make. In a December 2017 post on her official Barefoot Contessa website, Garten shared how fast it is to make and why she likes to serve it on New Year’s Eve.

The cookbook author explained she and her longtime husband, Jeffrey Garten, like to celebrate with friends over cocktails. Then they come home for a late dinner before ringing in the new year. 

“But at that hour, I need something I can prepare really fast!” Garten wrote. “Seared Scallops and Potato Celery Root Purée is the perfect dish. I make the purée in advance and gently reheat it while I sear the scallops in a big sauté pan – and dinner is ready in no time.” 

Do what Garten does and make the purée ahead of time or make everything the day of. 

This Barefoot Contessa dinner has 11 ingredients

Ina Garten smiles as she stands in front of the counter inside the "barn" on her property in East Hampton, New York.
Ina Garten | Mike Smith/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

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Like many of Garten’s recipes, this Barefoot Contessa dish is simple. It calls for only 11 ingredients. The stars are, as the name suggests, scallops, potatoes, and celery root. 

There are also some other ingredients that bring the entire recipe together. Garten uses unsalted butter, heavy cream, kosher salt — Garten’s all about using salt correctly — and black pepper. 

To make it even more special she also uses olive oil — her favorite olive oil is Olio Santo — infused with basil as well as white truffle butter. Garten adds fresh chives on top for a finishing touch. Need more proof this Barefoot Contessa recipe is easier to make than it sounds? It’s one of the many recipes in Garten’s 2012 Barefoot Contessa Foolproof cookbook

How to make Ina Garten’s Seared Scallops with Truffled Potato Celery Root Purée

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Here’s how the Barefoot Contessa makes her Seared Scallops with Truffled Potato Celery Root Purée, according to Food Network. Garten begins by melting butter in a medium pan and sautéing leeks. 

Once they’re soft she tosses in potatoes, celery root, heavy cream, salt, and pepper. When the mixture comes to a boil Garten turns the heat down and lets everything simmer.

After about 30 minutes Garten purées the mixture in a food processor before putting it back in the pan. Then she adds the truffle butter to taste. Next is the scallops. Garten pats them dry before seasoning with salt and pepper.

Then the Barefoot Contessa adds them to a large pan with hot grapeseed oil. She cooks them for about three minutes on each side being sure not to turn them before they’re ready. 

Once the scallops are done it’s time to eat. Garten puts a “puddle” of purée on a plate, then the scallops, and a drizzle of basil olive oil. Finally, she sprinkles the dish with chives and it’s time to eat.