Fried Queen scallops & asparagus

VIDEO: Queen scallops, white asparagus and vinaigrette

The Queen scallop with its iconic shell might be small in size, but it is truly large in taste. Queen scallops have a wonderfully delicate sweet and salty taste. Scallops do not need a lot of preparation and stand very well on their own as a dish. The flesh is moist and fragile, so you need to be careful when cooking them.

When you fry scallops they get a caramelized crust that brings out all the delicious flavours in the flesh. Scallops work wonderfully with a variety of flavours. In this recipe, the scallops are served with white asparagus and a herby vinaigrette, bringing the pure flavours of the sea and the summertime together in one dish.

  • Author : Gutti Winther
  • Category : Starter, lunch dish
  • Cuisine : Nordic
  • Yield : 2 servings
  • 10-20 queen scallops (150-200 gr.), cleaned and without shell
  • 8-10 white asparagus
  • 2-3 thick slices of white bread
  • Butter
  • One large tablespoon of honey
  • The zest and juice of one lemon (organic)
  • Olive oil
  • One large tablespoon of capers
  • Salt
  • Herbs - a handful of parsley, a couple of stalks each of chives and dill, a small handful of mint leaves (you can use any herbs you like)
  • Half a red onion
  • A handful of cress
  • Wood sorrel (optional)
  • Peel the asparagus and boil them in salted water for 2-3 minutes. Remove from boiling water and put them immediately into a bowl of ice cold water to stop the cooking process and keep them crunchy.
  • Cut the crust off the bread slices and tear the bread into large chunky croutons. Fry the bread chunks in butter in a pan for a couple of minutes until they get a crunchy and caramelized crust on both sides. Put the croutons aside on a plate and salt them lightly.
  • For the vinaigrette, mix a tablespoon of honey, the zest of a lemon, the juice of half a lemon and 5-6 tablespoons of olive oil in a bowl. Chop the herbs and capers and slice half a red onion thinly, add it with the cress and a pinch of salt to the mixture and mix it all together.
  • Heat the pan so it’s piping hot. Dry the scallops on a piece of paper before frying. If they are wet you won’t get a caramelized crust, and the scallops will braise or boil and become soggy.
  • Fry the scallops in oil on one side only, to preserve the delicate taste and texture of the scallop flesh. The scallops only need very short time, approximately 30 to 60 seconds on the pan, so they are just lightly seared with a delicious caramelization. When the scallops are done place them on a plate and drizzle with some salt.
  • Arrange the asparagus on a plate and pour over some of the liquid from the vinaigrette to marinate the asparagus, adding a dollop of the vinaigrette herb mixture on top. Place the fried scallops and croutons around the asparagus. Drizzle with some olive oil and lemon zest and garnish with wood sorrel leaves.