Courtesy of Tristan Welch, Launceston Place, London, UK
This dish only takes five minutes to cook, so you have to be quick. Choice of wild flowers depends on the season. At the moment I’m using pea flowers, rocket flowers, and chive and leek flowers. It’s amazing how many flowers are edible.
12 medium size scallops in their shells
Sea salt for dusting
150ml white wine
300ml vegetable stock
Selection of fresh edible flowers
- Ask your fishmonger to prepare the scallops for you by taking the top flat shell off, removing the skirt and roe, and leaving the scallop meat intact in the shell.
- Preheat the oven to 180*C, 350*F, Gas 4.
- You will need a pan large enough to fit at least 3 of the scallops at one time. Scallops cook quickly and take care not to overcook them otherwise they will be tough and dry.
- Heat a non-stick frying pan until hot.
- Lightly dust the scallops with sea salt.
- Pour 1 dessertspoon of oil into the pan, add the scallops to the pan with the shell facing up and the scallop meat in contact with the pan’s surface. Cooking the scallops in this way not only browns the scallop but the shell also keeps all the moisture from the scallop and start to steam.
- When the scallops are nice and brown on the top of the meat, add a knob of butter and remove the pan from the heat. Remove the scallops and place them, meat side up, on a baking tray.
- Place the pan back on the heat, pour in some of the wine (not all of it if you are cooking the scallops in batches), and cook to reduce by half then add some of the vegetable stock (again, not all of it if you are cooking in batches). Stir well, pour the sauce into a small pan then set aside.
- Repeat this until you have all the scallops on the tray then pop them into the oven and cook for 3 minutes. While the scallops are cooking, warm up the sauce. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
To serve, place the scallops on a bed of sea salt to keep them steady and divide the sauce between each scallop. Dress the wild flowers lightly in olive oil then arrange on top of the scallops and serve straight away.