One sure fire way to top off a brilliant weekend (aka a surprise one that I was expected to have to work through) is with scallops. They’re most certainly a treat food, with prices for decent ones starting at £1 per scallop at the cheapest (around these parts anyway). I love to eat them, and decide to do so mostly when a lighter meal is in order – considering their price, it’s no wonder that scallops are most frequently found on starter menus. I had some nice bacon lardons to use and a bag of simple and frugal as you like broad beans. Dinner brain cogs were working. They didn’t have to churn too much to get to the idea for this meal. It’s a simple threesome of flavour. No funny ingredients, just what you’d expect. But when you’ve got ingredients like these, simple is best.
You will need:
For the scallops:
8 hand dived or other sustainable scallops (get biggies!)
Knob of butter
2 garlic cloves, peeled and bashed
For the broad beans and pancetta:
300g frozen broad beans
80g free range bacon lardons or pancetta
2 shallots, thinly sliced
1 tbspn chopped flat leaf parsley
1 tbspn olive oil, plus extra to fry
1 – Start with the broad beans. Place them in a small saucepan, then pour over enough water to just cover them. Bring to the boil and cook until just tender, then drain, reserving the water.
2 – Peel the skins of the broad beans. This will take some time but can’t be skipped. Set 1/3 aside and then blend the remaining 2/3 of the beans along with 5 or so tablespoons of the reserved cooking water, the parsley, 1 tbspn olive oil and seasoning to taste.
3 – Now start your bacon. Heat 2 tbspns of olive oil in a frying pan and when hot add the bacon. Allow to crisp slightly before adding the shallots. Fry until the shallots crispen up too and then stir in the remaining broad beans. Tip the bacon and beans into another frying pan (not the excess fat and oil) and set on a very low heat, just to keep warm while you do the scallops.
4 – Add a little extra oil to the frying pan with the leftover bacon/shallot fat and add the garlic cloves. Remove these once they’re fragrant and just turning golden, then add half the butter and the scallops. Cook for 1 minute then flip, adding the remaining butter when you do.
5 – Meanwhile plate up your broad bean purée, and top with the warm bacon and shallot mix. Add the scallops that have cooked on their other side for 1 minute, followed by the cooking juices. Top with a few parsley leaves and eat immediately.