With a vivid pop of colour, this scallop dish from Mark Dodson has huge visual appeal and would make an impressive starter for a dinner party. The traditional pairing of scallops and pork (prosciutto, Parma ham, and chorizo are frequent choices) is bolstered by the creamy sweetness of butternut squash and freshness of watercress, making the recipe equally suitable for all seasons.
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Peel the butternut squash and then cut 12 discs from the barrel end of the squash (the purée can be made from the trimmings and the bulbous end). Cook the discs in a flat pan just covered with water, seasoning and a good knob of butter
250g of butternut squash
1 knob of butter
For the butternut squash purée, take the trimmings and cook in lightly salted water until very soft, Once soft, drain the water from the pan and then return to the pan, evaporating the remaining water. Add 50ml of the double cream to the pan and bring to the boil, cook until the cream reduces slightly. Blend the mixture, season and then pass through a sieve
50ml of double cream
Blanch the watercress in lightly salted water until soft, this could take up to ten minutes. Once soft, drain the water from the pan. Add 125ml of double cream to the pan, bring to the boil and let the cream reduce slightly. Blend the mixture, season and then pass through a sieve
375g of watercress
125ml of double cream
Wrap each scallop in a strip of prosciutto ham, one slice of ham should wrap 3 scallops. Secure each one with a cocktail stick.
4 slices of prosciutto
Pan fry the scallops in 2 teaspoons of olive oil until golden on each side - a minute on each side should do
2 tsp olive oil
Reheat the purées so that they are warm. Remove the cocktail sticks and place 4 scallops on each plate, dress with the purées and a watercress garnish to finish
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