Lettice and I were on our own for lunch - Lucius was playing in a real tennis tournament, the boys ate early before rushing off to play hockey. So we treated ourselves ... just how much, we realised when we started to eat: this is a simple dish which transcends its ingredients.
We used a small bag of frozen scallops which have been sitting in the freezer for a couple of months since I impulse-bought them. And we used crumbs made from the last of the bread I brought home yesterday from my day's baking with Richard Bertinet. The crumbs on the top make a pastry-ish lid; the ones on the edge crisp up and provide contrast to the creamy texture of the lemony sauce in the centre. I don't think this would work with Mother's Pride.
Baked scallops for 2
6 scallops with their coral
20-30g fine fresh breadcrumbs
lemon zest and juice
coarsely ground black pepper
Heat the oven to 250C. Grease a couple of small shallow dishes. Put the crumbs into a bowl, mix in lemon zest and pepper. Add the scallops and toss them until they are completely coated with crumbs. Arrange carefully on the dishes, making sure that the fish is completely covered with crumbs, and that there are a few round the edges. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon over the two dishes, then drizzle with oil.
Bake for 15 minutes. Leave to settle for a couple of minutes before eating.
This could be a starter or a light lunch (we ate it with raw beetroot salad). Next time, we're going to make it with mussels.
There's something pretty similar in Nigella Lawson's new book, Nigella Express ... but her version is heavier, less heart-healthy, using butter, and there's no zest, which seems a wasted opportunity.
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