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
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
To dress the plate
1 tomato, diced small
Handful of dill
To prepare the consommé
Make this the day before you need it, as it requires 24 hours in the fridge before use.
Put all ingredients into a food processor and blend for five minutes on full power.
Place the colander on top of a bowl and pour the mixture in.
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
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.
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).
Leave for an hour or so (until all the green oil has dripped through) and pour into a squeezy bottle.
To cook the scallops
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.
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.
Place on a tray to rest.
For the rest of the dish
Remove the tomato consommé from the fridge and bring to the boil in a saucepan.
Take off the heat, add a good amount of lovage oil and stir to split.
Pour the consommé mixture into the bottom of a bowl and place five small dices of tomato around it.
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.”
Taste Buds is published by We Make Magazines, a family-owned Devon company. Taste Buds is produced using Devon-based writers, chefs, photographers and sales team. It is printed on environmentally friendly paper. Just like the food we write about, Taste Buds is lovingly made using the finest local ingredients!