Power by dinner4good.com

Time to cook: 30 minutes

STARTER: Pan Seared Scallops with Pancetta and Pea Puree

A surprisingly simple but very tasty dish - the saltiness of the pancetta, the coolness of the pea puree compliment the scallops beautifully.

It’s worth mentioning if you haven’t cooked scallops before, that they’re quick to cook so try not to overdo them. They come in different sizes, so if they come prepacked check the cooking time on the label – otherwise, if they’re from a fishmonger it’s worth asking when you buy them.


Serves 4

  • 180g scallops - about 16 small or 8 large
  • 4 rashers of pancetta - or streaky bacon
  • olive oil

Pea puree

  • 300g frozen peas
  • 30g leeks, chopped
  • 200ml water
  • 2 teaspoon dried or fresh chopped mint
  • 30g butter for sautéing
  • Salad leaves to garnish - pea shoots are good


This dish can be made in two parts - the pea puree a few hours in advance so that you have less to do once your guests have arrived, and the pancetta and scallops about 5-10 minutes before serving.

You’ll need a non stick frying or sauté pan, a fine sieve and a liquidiser or a hand blender - if you don’t have either, use a wooden spoon and a good firm mixing bowl.

Pea puree

  1. Cook the frozen peas in a bowl in the microwave for about 2-3 minutes and put to one side.
  2. Sauté the chopped leeks in a little butter until the leeks are soft.
  3. Mix the cooked peas, sautéed leeks and mint with the water.
  4. Liquidise and then strain through a sieve, pushing the mixture through with the back of a spoon. If you don’t have a liquidiser squidge it all together with the back of a wooden spoon before putting it through the sieve.

Pancetta and scallops

  1. Cut the pancetta in half (about 6-8cm in length) and fry for 2-3 mins until cooked and put to one side on a plate.
  2. Put the scallops in a bowl with a little olive oil and a little salt, and mix together.
  3. Place in a hot non stick frying or sauté pan and cook for 1-2 minutes on each side, depending on size. Small scallops are quick to cook, so about 1 minute each side.

To serve

Arrange the scallops on small plates with the puree and pancetta, garnish with a few leaves and a sprinkling of black pepper... and enjoy!


Recipe author: The Dinner4Good Team

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