Thursday, November 12, 2009

Fried scallop, borlotti

Scallop season is here, or so I'm told and I need no further excuse to indulge in this delightful mollusc. I often find myself at a loss when it comes to what to do with them though - especially when I insist on keeping creamy sauces out of the picture. After all, the best examples of this beastie are rich and creamy enough on their own. No need for anything as dark and flavoursome as bacon nor as rich and cloying as cream or cheese.

So, when Steve produced his haul of a dozen of the biggest, freshest scallops I'd seen in my own home, fresh from the fishmonger in the Market Square, I went to my cookbook library for ideas. I finally settled on this deceptively simply entitled recipe from River Cafe Two Easy by Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers.

As usual, I adapted the recipe to my own taste and to the amount of time I wanted to spend preparing the dish. My biggest 'cheat' was to use canned borlotti beans and, although I am sure the dish would have been even better if I'd used dried beans, this was one amazing dish, indeed...

Fried scallop, borlotti


Scallops 16
Dried borlotti 250g
Fresh red chillies 3
Garlic cloves 2
Rocket leaves 100g
Lemons 4
Extra virgin olive oil

Soak the bolotti beans overnight. Rinse, then
put into as saucepan with 1 chilli and the garlic.
Bring to the boil, skim and simmer for 45
minutes. Drain, season and add olive oil. Keep
warm. Slice the remaining chillies diagonally
into 5mm slices, leaving the seeds in. Wash and
dry the rocket. Halve the lemons. For the
dressing, squeeze the juice of 1 lemon and
combine with 3 times the volume of olive oil,

Heat a thick-bottomed frying pan large enough
to hold the scallops in one layer.

Season the scallops on both sides. When the
pan is very hot, sear the scallops 30 seconds on
each side and remove.
(I seared for 1 minute as our scallops were very, very large)

Reduce the heat. Add 1 tbsp olive oil to the
pan, add the chillies, Squeeze over the juice of
1 lemon and shake the pan for a minute.

Chop the rocket leaves and toss with the
dressing. Add the barloti beans and divide
between 4 plates. Place the scallops, chilli and
any sauce from the pan on top. Serve with lemon.

(From River Cafe Two Easy, R. Gray and R. Rogers, 2005)