Wood-fired scallops, parsley and garlic butter
This simple but impressive starter only takes 15 minutes of hands-on time, and comes from the restaurant at The Double Red Duke hotel in the Cotswolds
- Serves: 4 persons
- 25g flat-leaf parsley leaves, picked and blanched in hot water, plus 25g, finely chopped
- 30g unsalted butter, melted, plus 220g, softened
- 25ml pastis
- ½tsp Tabasco
- 5garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 12medium-large scallops
- sea salt flakes
- 40g panko breadcrumbs
- extra-virgin olive oil
- 2lemons, cut into wedges, for serving
Step 1To make the garlic butter, purée the blanched parsley with the melted butter in a blender, then add the pastis and Tabasco until it separates. Let it cool slightly in the fridge before mixing with the rest of the butter, 2 tsp of salt, the garlic and chopped parsley.
Step 2Tip the butter mixture onto baking paper and roll it into a log – the circumference of which should be big enough to cover a scallop. Twist the ends to seal and store in the fridge until it’s solid enough to slice.
Step 3In the meantime, remove the scallops from their shells along with the roes and the muscles that attaches them to the shells. Clean them by running under cold water and then pat dry. If you’re using the shells, they also need to be cleaned before cooking – steam or boil them for a few minutes to make sure that they’re sterilised.
Step 4Once the shells and scallops are clean, put the scallops in the shells or a cast-iron pan with a thick slice of the garlic butter on top of each. Sprinkle over a little bit of sea salt and the panko breadcrumbs. Finally, drizzle with a little oil.
Step 5Put the shells or pan in a hot wood-fired oven or under a hot grill. They’ll take about 3-5 minutes to cook, depending on how hot your oven or grill is, and the size of your scallops. The scallops should feel firm and hot when touched and the breadcrumbs crisp. Once cooked, serve straight away with some lemon wedges for squeezing over.