Scallops and burnt leeks with hazelnut dressing – Tom Kitchin

Preparation time
less than 30 mins

Cooking time
10 to 30 mins

Serves
Serves 4

By Tom Kitchin
From Saturday Kitchen

Ingredients

  • Leeks: 4
  • Olive oil: 2 tbsp
  • Shelled scallops (about 70g each), cleaned and corals removed: 8
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the hazelnut dressing:

  • Blanched hazelnuts: 40g/1½ oz
  • Green apple, finely diced: 1
  • Fresh chives, finely chopped: 2 tsp
  • Shallots, finely chopped: 2 tsp
  • Hazelnut oil: 4 tbsp
  • Sherry vinegar: 1–2 tbsp
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

To garnish:

  • Breakfast radishes, sliced: 4
  • Pre-cooked baby pink beetroots: 8
  • Fresh, tender, podded broad beans: 1 tbsp
  • Fresh chive flower heads: 2
  • Wild garden flowers (mallow flowers): 20

Method

  1. Toast the hazelnuts: Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C Fan/Gas 4. Place the hazelnuts on a shallow baking tray and toast in the oven for 6 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until golden brown. This step can be done in advance.
  2. Prepare the hazelnut dressing: Coarsely chop the toasted hazelnuts and transfer them to a bowl. Add the finely diced green apple, chopped fresh chives, chopped shallots, and hazelnut oil. Stir together. Add a splash of sherry vinegar to taste and season with salt and pepper. Set the dressing aside.
  3. Char the leeks: When ready to cook, preheat the grill to medium-high and position the rack about 10 cm from the heat. Carefully remove the outside leaf from the leeks, but keep the root ends attached. Line a roasting tin with baking paper or kitchen foil, or use two trays if you don’t have one large enough to hold the leeks in a single layer. Place the leeks onto the tray(s), drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Put them under the grill and leave to char. When one side is charred, turn the leeks and char the other side. Keep this process going for about 15 minutes until the leeks are completely black, but soft in the middle.
  4. Prepare the leek shells: Carefully cut into each leek about 5 cm from the root end (slice without cutting all the way through) and remove the inside, keeping the charred outer leaves for presentation. Cut the heart of the leeks into 2.5 cm/1 in pieces, then set aside and keep warm.
  5. Cook the scallops: Halve the scallops vertically from top to bottom, then rinse them well, pat dry, and season all over with salt. Heat a well-seasoned sauté or frying pan over medium-high heat, then add a splash of oil. When it’s hot, add the scallops cut-side down and fry for 1 minute on each side, or until lightly golden.
  6. Assemble and serve: Divide the chopped leek ‘shells’ between serving plates and stuff them with the scallop pieces. Give the hazelnut dressing a good stir, then spoon it over the scallops. Garnish with the sliced radishes, baby pink beetroots, fresh, tender, podded broad beans, chive flowers, and mallow flowers.
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