I came across this recipe during my Masterchef audition prep, snugly set in the middle of my copy of Valli Little’s Simply the Best. This is a recipe that heralds fresh seafood cooked simply, with accompaniments that are so fast to make, that you’ll be out and amongst the dinner party that you serve these tasty morsels at, within an hour. Guaranteed.
You will need:
- 20g unsalted butter;
- 1 tablespoon olive oil;
- 2 thyme sprigs;
- 1 slice prosciutto, chopped;
- 1/2 cup (35g) fresh sourdough breadcrumbs;
- 2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley leaves;
- 1 cup (200g) small cauliflower florets;
- 1 cup (250ml) milk;
- Pinch nutmeg;
- 8 large scallops, on the half shell.
Melt 10g of the butter with a teaspoon of olive oil in a frypan over medium heat. Pick the leaves from one thyme sprig and add the leaves to the frypan with the prosciutto and breadcrumbs. Cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes until golden.
Place the prosciutto mixture in a food processor with the parsley and pulse to coarse crumbs. Season with pepper (you won’t need much salt, if any, as the prosciutto is salty enough) and set aside.
Meanwhile, place the cauliflower, milk and other thyme sprig in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to just below boiling point and cook for 10 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender.
Drain, reserving the milk.
Discard the thyme, then place the cauliflower in a food processor and whiz until smooth. With the motor running, gradually add enough of the reserved milk to make a smooth puree. Add the nutmeg and season. Keep warm and set aside.
Heat the remaining butter and oil in a clean frypan over high heat. Season the scallops and cook for one minute each side or until golden, but still translucent in the centre.
To serve, spoon some cauliflower puree onto each half shell, sit the scallops on top, then scatter with the prosciutto crumbs.
Seriously? It doesn’t get much better than this.