Roasted Scallops with Caponata and Onion Purée
12 diver scallops
2 plum tomatoes
500g banana shallots
200ml double cream
100ml olive oil
200g kalamata black olives
50g pea cress
200g unsalted butter
Salt and pepper
One bag of ice cubes
1. Peel the banana shallots and split them in half, then cut into a half moon shape.
2. Put the butter into a heavy bottomed pan and melt until warm.
3. Add the shallots and soften for 10 minutes.
4. Drain the excess butter from the shallots.
5. Add the cream and bring to the boil.
6. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
7. Blend until smooth then pass through a fine sieve.
1. To make the caponata dressing, fill a pan with water and bring to the boil with half a teaspoon of salt.
2. Remove the core of the tomato then blanch the tomatoes for thirty minutes then refresh in iced water.
3. Remove the skin from the tomatoes then halve, then quarter.
4. Remove the seeds and cut into 1cm cubes.
5. Place in bowl with the capers.
6. De-stone the olives, roughly chop and add those into the bowl too.
7. Cut the aubergines into 1cm cubes then sauté in a frying pan with olive oil until golden brown.
8. Remove from the pan and drain on some kitchen towel to remove excess oil.
9. Add the aubergines to the tomatoes, capers and black olives add 50 ml of olive oil to loosen the dressing. Season with pepper only, as the capers provide a salty flavour.
1. Heat up a little olive oil in a non-stick frying pan.
2. Season the scallops with salt and pepper and put into the pan.
3. Fry the scallops until golden brown and caramelised, then turn them over and roast in a tray in the oven at 180 degrees for three minutes. Remove from the oven and rest for one minute.
To assemble, place three scallops on each of your four plates, warm the onion purée in a saucepan on a medium heat and place a pool of the puree in the centre of the plate. Then scatter with the caponata dressing and serve immediately.
This is an easy one for a dinner party as you can prepare the caponata dressing and purée in advance. The only thing you need to do after your guests arrive are the scallops.