Dived scallops with charred leek, onion broth, pink purslane

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This aesthetically stunning scallop and leek recipe from David Everitt-Matthias is a beautifully harmonious dish - from sweet caramelised scallops that are sprinkled with onion seed to the onion broth it is served with. Cured pork jowl can be difficult to find, but should be available to buy from a decent deli.

First published in 2015





Onion broth

  • 500g of onion, finely sliced
  • 1.5l brown chicken stock
  • 500g of dashi
  • 50g of olive oil

Leek purée

Pickled onions




To start the dish, make the pickled onions - this will need to be done a week in advance. Place all of the ingredients apart from the onions into a medium saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly
Pack the onions into a kilner jar and pour over the pickling juices. Seal the jars, allow to cool and place in a cool place for a week
  • 1000g of button onion, small, peeled and soaked in water for 24 hours
To make the onion stock, heat the olive oil in a large saucepan, add the onions and stir well. Cover with a lid and cook for approximately 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until the onions have collapsed and become translucent
  • 50g of olive oil
  • 500g of onion, finely sliced
Remove the lid and cook until the onions are a lovely deep golden brown colour, stirring well. Add the brown chicken stock and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 50 minutes, skimming as necessary
  • 1.5l brown chicken stock
Carefully strain through some muslin into another pan and add the dashi. Bring to the boil and slowly simmer for 5-10 minutes so the flavours develop
Remove from the heat and allow to cool. The stock should be extremely well flavoured by now, but if it is a bit watery, place back on the heat to slowly reduce without boiling. If it is too reduced, add a little water. Set aside until ready to serve
For the leek purée, bring a small saucepan of water to the boil. Clean and finely slice the leek tops and blanch in the water for 10 seconds
  • 350g of leek, very green parts only
Drain through a sieve and place the leeks in a blender. Add the butter and blitz into a smooth purée. Add the xanthan gum, blitz again and season before passing through a fine sieve. Place in a squeezy bottle and keep warm
Remove the tops of the baby leeks, leaving mainly white parts, and bring a pan of salted water to the boil. Cook the leeks until tender, then refresh in cold water and drain well
Heat a griddle pan until very hot and brush the leeks with oil. Place on the griddle pan - you need the leeks to get a good charring on one side but do not let them burn
  • 30g of olive oil
Place on a tray, roll around in the butter and season. Keep in a warm place until ready to serve
Finally, to prepare the scallops, remove the scallop skirts and the orange roe – they can be used in other dishes so don’t throw them away. Remove grit with a damp cloth if there is any
Cut each scallop in half to give you 12 discs. Place on a damp cloth on a tray, cover and place in the fridge
Heat a large, heavy-based frying pan. Once hot, place half of the olive oil in the pan followed by half of the scallops. Cook for 30 seconds, add half of the butter and cook for a further 30 seconds to 1 minute
Turn and cook for approximately 1 minute, then remove and set aside on a warm plate. Wipe down the pan and repeat with the other scallops. Once all of the scallops are cooked, season
Gently reheat the onion stock but do not allow to boil. To assemble the dish, place the scallops to one side of the plate so they are overlapping slightly. Sprinkle with onion seeds and a little flaky sea salt
Place a charred leek on the other side of the plate. Lay slices of jowl in three little folds along the leek, then slice some of the pickled onions and arrange them on the leek
Finally, dress with the pink purslane and dot some of the leek purée around the plate. Pour over some onion stock and serve immediately
  • pink purslane, to garnish
First published in 2015

David Everitt Matthias does not do anything by halves: he opened his restaurant, Le Champignon Sauvage, decades ago and hasn’t missed a service since, he writes his own cookbooks and forages himself for many of the ingredients that appear in his dishes.

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