For the polenta: Boil the water with salt in a medium pot. Slowly add the polenta, whisking constantly to avoid lumps. Bring water down to low and stir with the whisk until it just starts to thicken. Put the lid on the pot and continue cooking for 20 minutes. Uncover, stir and cook for another 6-7 minutes. Turn off heat and add Parmesan cheese and butter. Stir to combine and pour into shallow bowls.
For the seared scallops: Heat oil in nonstick skillet. Pat scallops as dry as possible, sprinkle with salt and pepper and add to the hot pan. After 2-3 minutes, flip them and add butter. Shake the pan gently to distribute butter and sear for another 30 seconds - 1 minute. Then place straight onto the serving plates over the polenta.
For the brown butter: Put the smashed garlic cloves and butter in a clean skillet over medium heat and stir while watching closely - when the garlic starts to sizzle and the butter starts to look golden and foamy, remove from heat. You may choose to discard the garlic (or not) and drizzle the butter over the scallops and polenta.