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    Nathan Outlaw's Scallops with ginger-spiced lemon butter and pickled carrots

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    Nathan Outlaw's Scallops with ginger-spiced lemon butter and pickled carrots

    This is a simple but special starter, with the zingy butter perfectly complementing the delicate flavour of the scallops. Both the butter and the pickled carrots can be made a few hours in advance and chilled until you’re ready to cook. 

    • Preparation time: 20 minutes
    • Cooking time: 15 minutes
    • Total time: 35 minutes

    Serves: 4 as a starter


    3 medium carrots, peeled
    1 echalion shallot, finely sliced
    2 garlic cloves, halved
    1 green chilli, deseeded and sliced
    100ml white wine
    100ml white wine vinegar
    100g caster sugar
    50g unsalted butter, softened
    ½ lemon, zest and juice
    5g fresh root ginger, finely grated
    50g soft white breadcrumbs
    ¹⁄ ³ x 28g pack fresh coriander, leaves picked: 1 tbsp roughly torn, remainder finely chopped
    1 tbsp olive oil
    2 salad onions, trimmed and finely sliced
    75ml cold-pressed rapeseed oil
    12 fresh scallops


    1. To prepare the carrots, shave them into fine ribbons using a mandoline or vegetable peeler. Put in a shallow bowl with the shallot, garlic and chilli. Heat the wine, vinegar and sugar with 100ml water in a pan over a low heat, until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to a simmer, then pour over the carrots, making sure they are completely submerged. Cover and leave to cool. Meanwhile, put the softened butter in a bowl with the lemon zest, juice and grated ginger. Use electric beaters (or beat by hand with a wooden spoon) to combine, then season with salt.

    2. Mix the breadcrumbs and finely chopped coriander leaves in a small bowl. Melt 1 tbsp of the flavoured butter in a large non-stick frying pan with 1 tsp olive oil, then add the breadcrumb mixture and cook, stirring regularly, until golden. Transfer to a bowl, season and set aside.

    3. When you are ready to cook the scallops, drain the pickled carrots and put them in a bowl, discarding the garlic. (You can chill the leftover pickling liquor for a few days and use in dressings.) Add the salad onions and torn coriander to the carrots, season with salt and dress with the rapeseed oil. Use kitchen paper to pat the scallops dry, then toss in the remaining olive oil and season. Wipe out the frying pan used for the breadcrumbs and heat until almost smoking. Add the scallops and fry for 2 minutes, using a spatula to press them down so that the undersides are in contact with the pan and caramelise evenly. Turn the scallops and fry for a further minute, using the spatula to lightly press them down again.

    4. Add the remaining flavoured butter to the pan. When it starts to foam, baste the scallops with it for a minute until golden. Serve the scallops straight away on warm plates, with a drizzle of the butter, the crumbs scattered over and the pickled carrots on the side. 

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    This recipe first appeared in Waitrose & Partners Food, March 2020 issue. Download the Waitrose & Partners Food app for the full issue


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