PAN FRIED SCALLOPS WITH LEEKS AND WATER VINAIGRETTE
The best scallops come from the west coast of Scotland and around Orkney. Scallops which have been dived for are always better than the dredged ones as the meat and shells are not damaged and they usually taste better too. The scallops and leeks are their best in season through autumn and winter. Cooking the leeks until tender with salted water, leaves them tasting lovely and sweet. The water vinaigrette will keep for weeks in the fridge. For best results choose the best quality of olive oil and vinegar as this makes all the difference to the dish.
30ml White wine vinaigrette
150ml bottle still water
150ml best quality extra virgin olive oil
3 Sprigs of fresh tarragon
1 Clove of garlic (cut into 3 pieces)
1/2 teaspoon of salt
- Add the salt to the water and bring to a boil so it dissolves. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.
- Mix together the olive oil, white wine vinegar and water. Add the tarragon and sliced garlic and leave for 24 hours to infuse before using.
Note: You can infuse the garlic and tarragon in the vinaigrette for up to 1 week to develop to develop the flavour after which you should remove it. The vinaigrette will keep for 1 month in the fridge.
Leeks and Scallops
4 trimmed washed leeks (approx 20-25cm long)
8 Scallops in the shell
1 tablespoon of olive oil
Maldon sea salt
- Remove the scallops from the shell and discard the skirt and the orange roe.
- Wash and dry the scallops on a clean towel.
- Cooked the trimmed whole leeks in a pan of salted boiling water so they become very tender. Then remove them and place on a wire rack to drain and cool.
- Take each leek and using your hands gently squeeze out any excess water.
- Cut each leek in to 2-3cm long pieces and arrange them on 4 plates.
- Vigorously whisk the vinaigrette, then pour over the leeks so there is enough to cover the plate. Lightly sprinkle the leeks with a little Maldon salt.
- Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a non-stick pan.
- Season the scallops with a little salt and pan fry until golden brown on each side and just cooked.
- Finish the scallops with a squeeze of lemon juice and a few flakes of Maldon salt.
- Place 2 scallops on each plate and serve immediately.