Pan-seared Scallops with Hazelnuts, Pea Sprouts and Red Oak Lettuce Salad
If you are looking to make good first impressions, you cannot go wrong with seafood. (Unless you have guests allergic to them.) Scallops are delicate and if possible, get them fresh. The difference between a fresh catch and frozen ones are worlds apart; the meat is sweeter and none of the fishiness lingers.
Pan-seared Scallops with Hazelnuts, Pea sprouts and Red Oak lettuce Salad
Adapted from James Martin
A few handfuls of salad leaves (We used pea sprouts and red oak lettuce)
salt and pepper, to taste
For the Salad sauce
2.5 tablespoon wholegrain mustard
2.5 tablespoon white wine vinegar
7.5 tablespoon vegetable oil
Preheat the oven to 160C and toast the hazelnuts for 12 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven.
Slice the potatoes to a thickness of 1cm and make sure the top and underside of the potato slice are straight. Then drizzle olive oil over potato slices and bake in oven at 160C for 30-45 minutes, or until potatoes are just tender. Remove from oven.
Mix the wholegrain mustard, white wine vinegar and oil together in a bowl. Place the pea sprouts in a separate bowl, drizzle the dressing over and stir to coat.
Heat a heavy frying pan to high heat and add olive oil. Once the pan begins to smoke, add the scallops to the pan, presentation-side down. Fry the scallops until golden.
To serve, place a piece of red oak lettuce on the centre of each serving plate. Then place two potato slices in the centre and top with the scallops. Arrange the hazelnuts and pea sprouts around the scallops and serve.
Coat the salad with the dressing just before serving as the salad leaves will wilt if it is left in the dressing for too long.
Make sure the pan is hot enough to fry the scallops. You should hear the scallops searing when you place them in the pan; if it isn’t, the pan isn’t hot enough.