Grilled scallops with rocket, fennel, toasted breadcrumbs and gorgonzola dressing

Grilled scallops with rocket, fennel, toasted breadcrumbs and gorgonzola dressing

By
From
My Favourite Ingredients
Serves
4
Photographer
Jason Lowe

This combination may seem a little strange, but the flavours are really quite lovely together. The contrast of grilled sweet, plump scallops and a creamy Gorgonzola dressing is seductive and sophisticated. Vary the leaves according to what is available – pissenlit (dandelion) and young spinach (pousse) also work well with these flavours.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
20 scallops, shelled and cleaned
1 small head radicchio
handful rocket leaves
1 fennel bulb
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 lemon, finely grated zest
1/2 lemon, juiced
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
handful curly parsley, very finely chopped, leaves only
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 tablespoons warm toasted sourdough breadcrumbs

Gorgonzola dressing

Quantity Ingredient
1 organic free-range egg yolk
80g gorgonzola dolce
1 scant tablespoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
little squeeze lemon juice
120ml mild-tasting virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon creme fraiche

Method

  1. First make the dressing. Place the egg yolk, Gorgonzola, mustard, sherry vinegar and lemon juice in a blender. Add a small pinch of salt and a little pepper. Now turn the motor on and very slowly pour in the olive oil through the feeder tube. Don’t be tempted to add the oil too quickly, or the mixture may curdle. Once it’s all been added, you should have a smooth, dark cream coloured sauce. Pour into a bowl, add the crème fraîche and stir well to combine. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary; you are unlikely to need more salt.
  2. Set the scallops aside at room temperature while you prepare the salad. Separate the radicchio leaves, wash gently and pat dry using a clean tea towel. Do the same with the rocket. Remove the fibrous outer layer from the fennel, slice in half lengthways, then cut into the finest long slices you can manage. Place the leaves and sliced fennel in a bowl, season with a little salt and pepper and add the lemon zest, lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil. Toss together lightly with your fingers, taste for seasoning and set aside while you cook the scallops.
  3. Heat a large heavy-based frying pan (preferably non-stick) over a high heat. Season the scallops with salt and pepper and add the olive oil to the pan. When the pan is very hot (starting to smoke), add the scallops, in a single layer. Cook them without moving for 1 minute, then turn and cook for approximately 40 seconds on the other side. The scallops should have a crunchy exterior and the flesh inside should be sweet and soft. Remove from the heat.
  4. Divide the dressed salad leaves among individual plates, arrange 5 scallops on top of each portion and spoon over a little Gorgonzola dressing. Finish with a sprinkling of finely chopped parsley and toasted breadcrumbs. Serve at once – the scallops should be eaten as hot as possible.
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