This recipe was inspired by Rök Islington’s popular starter: Scallop in Shell with Nduja and British Seaweed.
Here, I present to you the Scallop in Shell with Nduja, Ricotta and roasted Hazelnuts. This recipe is simply delicious and won’t fail to impress. What’s great about it, is that it takes no effort at all.
I sourced the scallops from my local fishmonger who stocks from sustainable sources. The nduja, which is a Calabrian spicy, spreadable sausage, was bought from De Calabria, Borough Market, together with the ricotta.
Time: 15 Minutes
- 3 tablespoons brown butter (see instructions below)
- 4 large scallops with coral and shell
- 150g fresh ricotta
- 15g nduja (or soft, cooking chorizo)
- 1 spoonful of roasted, crushed hazelnuts
- Lemon zest of half a lemon
- Brown butter (buerre noisette, in French) is simply butter that’s been heated until the milk solids have turned brown and nutty-tasting, acting as an incredible flavouring agent. To make brown butter, simply start melting butter (I melted a whole packet of butter to store for later) over medium heat. Use a pan with a light-coloured bottom so you can keep track of the colour. Once the butter begins to smell nutty and has turned toasty-brown, take the pan off the heat and sieve the browned butter into a heatproof bowl to cool. You can stick brown butter in the fridge and reuse as you would regular butter.
- For the paste, mix the ricotta and nduja in a bowl with a fork. As the nduja is spicy, my suggestion would be to add to taste. Add the lemon zest and continue to mix until all ingredients are well combined.
- Fill a pot with boiling water and remove from the heat. Place the bowl with the nduja and ricotta in the pot of boiling water imitating a bain marie (hot water bath) to warm and thin the consistency of the paste without cooking it.
- Pat the scallops dry in a kitchen towel and season with fine salt in a bowl. In the meantime, add the brown butter into the pan on medium heat. Wait for the pan to get really hot, and then add the scallops. Leave the scallops for 2 ½ minutes on one side. Make sure not to fidget with it until it cooks for the required time. Then turn it over using thongs and leave to cook for 2 more minutes.
- To plate, scoop one heaped tablespoon of the paste on each scallop shell. Once the seared scallops are ready, top with one scallop each and sprinkle with roasted, crushed hazelnuts. The hazelnuts can be bought prepared but if you’ve got some more time on your hands, I would suggest roasting whole, good quality hazelnuts and crush these in a mortar (alternatively, place nuts in a plastic bag and bash with a solid object). The irregularity of the pieces will look more appealing.