Panfried scallops with pea puree, pancetta & gremolata

This recipe may seem a little labour intensive, but it is actually relatively easy to make, even on a weekday. The puree is made in no time, and the pancetta bakes in the oven while you sear the scallops.

Speaking of puree, as the picture indicates, I have made this dish with a pea puree. But here you can vary endlessly, I have made it with both fennel and cauliflower puree as well.

  • 3 shallots, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsps olive oil
  • 1 large garlic clove, pressed
  • 250 frozen peas
  • 250 ml chicken stock
  • 8 slices of pancetta
  • a handful of flatleaf parsely, finely chopped
  • 1 ½ tsp lemon zest
  • 12 medium sized scallops
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter

Preheat the oven to 190 °C.

Set aside 1 tbsp of the shallots, and put the rest in a small saucepan together with 2 tbsps of olive oil and the garlic. Saute over medium heat until the shallots are soft and translucent, but not browned, appr 5 minutes. Add peas and chicken stock, and season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, cover with a lid, and let it simmer for 3-4 minutes. Use a stick blender, and puree.

Meanwhile, but the pancetta slices on a baking tray, and bake in the oven until crisp, 10-14 minutes.

Make a gremolata by adding parsley, lemon zest and the remaining 1 tbsp of chopped shallot, and mix well.

Dry off the scallops with kitchen paper, and season well. Heat the butter and 1 tbsp of olive oil in a frying pan on high heat, until it is smoking hot. Add the scallops, and fry on each side until golden brown, 2-4 minutes on each side.

Divide the pea pure over 4 plates, and put on the scallops. Decorate with bacon, and a few spoonfulls of gremolata. Drizzle some olive oil over, if so desired.

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