Scallops love a bit of lemon and chilli plus, they are ready in a flash. The perfect way to impress last-minute guests.
• Prep time: 10 minutes
• Cook time: 10 minutes
• Yield: Serves 4
• 1 tbsp light olive oil
• lemon wedges, to serve
• 12 scallops, roes on of off
• 4 young but not baby leeks leeks, trimmed
For the Butter:
• zest 2 lemon
• 2 garlic cloves, crushed
• 250g pack butter, softened
• 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
• bunch parsley, leaves chopped, plus extra to serve
- For the butter, mix all of the ingredients together in a large bowl, then beat well with a wooden spoon until there are no lumps of butter left. Spoon onto a large sheet of cling film, then wrap tightly in a sausage shape. Chill until firm (or put in the freezer if you’re short of time).
- Set up a pan with a steamer or suspend a heatproof colander over the top of a pan. Cut the leeks in half lengthways, then slice into long strips, about the thickness of tagliatelle. Cover, then steam for 6 mins until tender, with no signs of squeakiness. Season, then set aside.
- Dry the scallops on kitchen paper and season. Heat a heavy-based pan, then add the oil. Once hot, add the scallops, keeping them close together – this helps the sides to stay straight and tall rather than sagging. Sizzle for 2 mins until caramelised and you can see the heat creeping up the outside. Turn over with a palette knife, then fry for 1 min more. Take off the heat, then add a few good slices of the butter to the pan, spooning over the scallops as it melts.
- To serve, wind a nest of warm leeks in the centre of 4 plates, top each with 3 scallops, spoon over the buttery sauce (it looks smart trickled around the plate), then sprinkle with the remaining parsley. Squeeze over a little lemon juice before you tuck in.
This great family recipe is thanks to BBC Good Food at https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/seared-scallops-leeks-lemon-chilli-butter