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Pan-seared scallops with tomato consommé and lovage oil

Pan-seared scallops with tomato consommé and lovage oil

Dive into the fresh, herby flavours in this scallop starter


For the scallops

  • 4 large, hand-dived scallops
  • Knob of butter
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
  • Salt

For the consommé

  • 500g heritage tomatoes
  • 50ml white wine vinegar
  • 20g sea salt
  • 50g picked lovage

For the lovage oil

  • 300g picked lovage
  • 300g vegetable oil
  • Sea salt

To dress the plate

  • 1 tomato, diced small
  • Handful of dill
  • Sea salt


To prepare the consommé

  1. Make this the day before you need it, as it requires 24 hours in the fridge before use.
  2. Put all ingredients into a food processor and blend for five minutes on full power.
  3. Place the colander on top of a bowl and pour the mixture in.
  4. Cover with either a muslin cloth or a clean tea towel and put it in the fridge – leaving the bowl to collect the liquid. This will take a day.

To make the lovage oil

  1. Bring a pan of salted water to the boil, drop the picked lovage leaves in for 90 seconds, then plunge into a bowl of iced water. This will stop the oil from turning brown.
  2. Squeeze all the liquid out of the cold leaves. Place into a food processor with a little sea salt. Blend for five minutes, until the leaves have disintegrated. Pass the mixture through a muslin cloth (or clean tea towel).
  3. Leave for an hour or so (until all the green oil has dripped through) and pour into a squeezy bottle.

To cook the scallops

  1. Bring a non-stick frying pan to smoking hot. Season the scallops and add a little oil to the pan, then turn it down to a medium heat.
  2. Place the scallops into the pan, flat-side down, and fry for a minute or so, until golden brown. Add a good-sized knob of butter, a squeeze of lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Flip the scallops and baste for approximately one minute. They should feel slightly firm to the touch when cooked.
  3. Place on a tray to rest.

For the rest of the dish

  1. Remove the tomato consommé from the fridge and bring to the boil in a saucepan.
  2. Take off the heat, add a good amount of lovage oil and stir to split.

To serve

  1. Pour the consommé mixture into the bottom of a bowl and place five small dices of tomato around it.
  2. Place the scallop in the centre and top with a frond of dill, and a little sea salt.

Tom says: “We use Flying Fish in Cornwall for our scallops. We will only use hand-dived scallops as the flavour and quality is not only better and more consistent, but they are also better for the environment. A high-end fishmonger will source good quality shellfish and prepare them how you wish.”

Recipe by Tom Browning

Head Chef

Lewtrenchard Manor


Tom Browning

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