JOANNA'S FOOD: family cooking, from scratch, every day

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Baked scallops

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
olive oil

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.

Related link

Scallop and chorizo salad


Cottage Smallholder said...

There is nothing like a baked scallop and these look heavenly.

I have awarded you the True Blue award today, for services to blogging!

Joanna said...

Fiona THANK YOU ... I'm really touched

And, yes, heavenly's the word. Also pretty healthy, compared to many scallop recipes


Parisbreakfasts said...

This looks soooo delicious and so easy.

Now if only we could get scallops with the coral included over here.

Anonymous said...

Those scallops sound delicious! Lucius played real tennis? How soon after surgery??

Joanna said...

Mercifully not ... he just hobbled into the viewing gallery to watch our elder son playing a semi-final for a club tournament. I think it will be at least a couple of months before L is playing again, he's still on two sticks at the moment


Anonymous said...

Those scallops look divine! I can taste the lemon and the crispy crumbs. Delicious!

Ellen said...

The recipe said to bake the scallops at 250 degrees. Is that correct?

Joanna said...

Hi Ellen, yes, you need a really hot oven for these, so that they seal quickly and cook in moments. I got a new oven last year, and it heats very hot - if yours isn't so hot, just put it as high as it will go and check after 15 minutes.

Hope that helps

Anonymous said...

I have never made scallops and most recipes call for white wine but thankfully your recipe works better for me.