Scallops, hazelnut butter and watercress cream

Scallops, hazelnut butter and watercress cream

Fish Kitchen
David Loftus

This is a great choice for a dinner party. Not only does it look impressive, the watercress cream and hazelnut butter can be made in advance, so all you need to do is switch on the grill and cook the scallops at the last minute. I love dishes like this!


Quantity Ingredient
12 medium scallops

Watercress cream

Quantity Ingredient
2 sheets bronze leaf gelatine
light rapeseed oil
1 small white onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled, germ removed, finely chopped
300g watercress, picked
300ml double cream

Hazelnut butter

Quantity Ingredient
150g blanched hazelnuts
1 tablespoon caster sugar
100g unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons chives, chopped
cornish sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

To finish

Quantity Ingredient
handful watercress sprigs
olive oil, for dressing


  1. Shell and clean the scallops, removing the roes; set aside.
  2. To make the watercress cream, soak the gelatine in a shallow dish of cold water. Heat a little oil in a medium pan and gently sweat the onion and garlic for 2 minutes without colouring. Add the watercress and sweat for another 2 minutes, then pour in the cream and let bubble for 1 minute.
  3. Transfer the mixture to a blender. Immediately drain the gelatine leaves, squeezing out the excess water, and add them to the blender.
  4. Blitz for 1 minute to dissolve the gelatine. Pass the mixture through a sieve into a jug and then pour into shallow soup plates. Place in the fridge for at least an hour to set.
  5. For the hazelnut butter, toast the hazelnuts in a dry pan for about a minute until coloured and fragrant, sprinkling them with the sugar as they begin to colour. While still hot, blitz the hazelnuts in a food processor until finely ground. Let cool slightly.
  6. While the nuts are still slightly warm, mix them with the butter and herbs and season with salt and pepper. Spoon the hazelnut butter into a sausage shape on a sheet of greaseproof paper. Cover with another sheet of paper and roll out to the thickness of a £1 coin. Chill in the freezer for 1 hour to firm up.
  7. Using a metal cutter, cut the chilled butter into rounds, the size of the scallops. Keep in the fridge until ready to use. (You will have more than you need, so wrap the rest and freeze for another occasion.)
  8. About 10 minutes before serving, remove the plates from the fridge to take the chill off the watercress cream. Heat your grill to medium and oil the grill tray.
  9. Lay the scallops on the tray, season lightly with salt and grill gently for 2 minutes. Place a round of hazelnut butter on each one and grill gently for a further 2 minutes or until cooked.
  10. To serve, arrange 3 scallops on each portion of watercress cream. Dress the handful of watercress with a little olive oil and arrange on the plates, then serve.
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