Spring at its most succulent – Tom Kitchin serves up his recipe for scallops with roasted, puréed and raw asparagus
“I like to prepare this during the short asparagus season, as perfectly cooked scallops and asparagus are a great marriage.
I’m serving the asparagus in three ways: raw, puréed and roasted, which might seem a bit ‘cheffy’ but it really makes the most of it. Buy hand-dived scallops if you possibly can.”
• 2 bunches asparagus, about 900g
• olive oil, for cooking
• 1/2 onion, peeled and thinly sliced
• sea salt
• freshly ground black pepper
• 150ml Chicken stock
• 6-8 large scallops in shells, cleaned
1 Heat the oven to 180°C. To prepare the asparagus, snap off the woody ends and peel the lower end of the stalks.
2 Divide the asparagus into three equal portions: set aside a third for serving raw, a third for roasting and a third for the purée.
3 For the purée, finely chop the asparagus. Heat a heavy-based pan over a medium-low heat and add a drizzle of olive oil.
4 Add the onion and sweat gently for 2–3 minutes. Increase the heat, add the chopped asparagus with some seasoning and sweat for 1–2 minutes.
5 Pour on the chicken stock and simmer for 3–4 minutes until the asparagus is cooked. Tip into a blender and blitz to a smooth purée.
6 Transfer to a bowl and cool quickly over a bowl of iced water to preserve the colour, unless serving straight away.
7 For the roasted asparagus, heat a non-stick ovenproof frying pan over a medium-high heat and add a good drizzle of olive oil. Add the asparagus and sauté for 1–2 minutes.
8 Transfer the pan to the oven and roast for 3–4 minutes until the asparagus is tender.
Meanwhile, thinly slice the raw asparagus spears lengthways and drizzle with olive oil. Once the roasted asparagus is ready, transfer it to a warm plate and set aside.
9 Halve each scallop horizontally into two discs. Return the frying pan to a high heat and add a good drizzle of olive oil.
10 When hot, place the scallops in the pan, season with salt and pepper and sear them quickly for 45 seconds to 1 minute on each side until golden brown, depending on size. (It is better to leave them slightly underdone than to overcook them, which toughens the flesh.) In the meantime, gently reheat the asparagus purée.
11 Spoon the asparagus purée onto warm plates and arrange the roasted asparagus and scallops on top.
12 Finish with the raw asparagus and serve at once.
Recipe courtesy of Tom Kitchin, extracted from Tom’s Kitchin Suppers