Scampi with saffron and olive butter

Scampi with saffron and olive butter

By
From
Everyday Seafood
Serves
4

Grilling scampi (aka langoustines) topped with a savoury butter is one of the best ways to cook them in my view. All piled up on a plate, they look so inviting. The butter also works well with lobster, scallops or whole grilled plaice or lemon sole.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
20 whole raw scampi, shell on, live or frozen

For the saffron and olive butter

Quantity Ingredient
1/2 teaspoon saffron strands
1 lemon, zest finely grated and juiced
250g unsalted butter, softened
1 shallot, peeled and chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons pitted black olives, chopped
20 basil leaves, finely sliced
sea salt

To serve

Quantity Ingredient
2 lemons, halved

Method

  1. Place the scampi on a board. Split them in half lengthways from head to tail and remove the stomach and dark intestinal tract. Crack the claws and set aside.
  2. To make the flavoured butter, put the saffron and lemon juice into a small pan and heat gently to infuse and encourage the saffron colour to bleed out. Allow to cool.
  3. Put the butter, shallot, garlic, olives, basil, lemon zest and saffron-infused lemon juice into a bowl and mix thoroughly until evenly blended. Spoon the butter onto a sheet of cling film, wrap it in the cling film and shape into a cylinder, about 3cm in diameter. Tie the ends to secure and chill until ready to use. (The butter can be prepared ahead and frozen at this stage.)
  4. Preheat your grill to high. Meanwhile, cut the butter into thin discs (you’ll need 40 in total). Place the 4 lemon halves, cut side up, on a grill tray and grill until they start to colour.
  5. Add the scampi to the grill tray, flesh side uppermost, with the claws. Place a disc of butter on each scampi half and grill for 4–5 minutes until the scampi are cooked and the lemon halves are tinged with brown, basting the scampi with the melting butter occasionally.
  6. Divide the scampi between warmed bowls. Add the lemon halves and serve straight away.
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