Scallop with Pineapple, Chive Oil and Caramelised Cauliflower Purée.
Up until about a year ago I was obsessed with scallops – ordering them everywhere I went. But it was all too much of a good thing and I quickly went off them. Flicking back through the pages of Momofuku I stumbled across a dish of raw scallop with dashi and pineapple. Distaste aside, I knew this was the basis of a cracking little canapé.
Fearing I may be throwing myself in at the deep end by serving the scallop raw and with a shortage of dashi, I paired seared scallop with finely diced pineapple, chive oil and a little caramelised cauliflower purée. The slight tartness of the pineapple cutting through the sweetness of the scallop and cauliflower – a little smoked Maldon sea salt perfectly enhances the flavour of the scallop.
When cooked well the scallop is a glorious thing, but consume one which has been under or over cooked and you may well be put off for life. The secret is to sear them in a screaming hot pan to achieve a good crust on the outside, flipping them after only 30 seconds to 1 minute – anything more and you risk them being overdone.
Served in the shell, this makes a fantastic canapé but would scale up well for a starter or main.
Scallops, Pineapple, Cauliflower, Chive
Makes 6 Canapés
6 Fresh Scallops
1/2 Pineapple Finely Diced
1 Small Bunch Chives
75ml Rapeseed Oil
1 Cauliflower into Florets
Smoked Maldon Sea Salt
1) To make the cauliflower purée: Par-boil the cauliflower and pat dry. Melt the butter in a large frying pan and sauté the cauliflower for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to a blender and blend with the milk to form a smooth purée. Pass through a fine sieve. Season to taste with salt and a little white pepper and keep warm.
2) To make the chive oil: Combine the chives and rapeseed oil in a small blender or spice grinder. Pulse until smooth and well combined.
3) Heat a little olive oil in a large pan and sear the scallops over a high heat for 30 seconds to 1 minute each side. Meanwhile, combine the chopped pineapple with a little lemon juice.
4) To serve: Place the scallop on top of the cauliflower purée, spooning a little chive oil and chopped pineapple on top and around the scallop. Sprinkle with a little smoked sea salt to finish.