Orkney scallop with fermented carrots, pickled alexanders, rock samphire and chicken skin

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This scallop recipe from chef Chris Harrod sees the shellfish surrounded by a ring of fermented, pickled and puréed herbs and vegetables. Carrots, alexanders and rock samphire are prepared in a variety of ways, with a few shards of crispy chicken skin for texture. If you're struggling to get your hands on alexander leaves and flowers, Chris says they can be substituted with nasturtiums or even dill.

First published in 2019





Fermented carrot purée

Alexander flowers

  • 100g of alexanders, flowers only, washed and picked
  • 100g of Chardonnay vinegar

Alexander purée

  • 300g of alexanders, young leaves only, washed and picked
  • 2g of xanthan gum
  • salt, to taste

Pickled carrots

Roast chicken skin

Rock samphire


  • Vacuum bag and machine
  • Blender
  • Squeezy bottle
  • Hand blender


Begin by making the fermented carrot purée, as this will take 7–10 days. Peel, trim and finely slice the carrots. Weigh and calculate 1.5% of the weight, then add that quantity of salt to the carrots and mix well. Place them in a vacuum bag with the whey, seal and leave to ferment for 7–10 days
Add the contents of the bag to a blender and blitz until smooth, then transfer to a squeeze bottle and reserve in the fridge
The pickled alexanders also take 10 days to develop their flavour. Add the flowers to the vinegar and store in a sealed jar for a minimum of 10 days. These make a great preserve to use throughout the year
  • 100g of alexanders, flowers only, washed and picked
  • 100g of Chardonnay vinegar
The day before you plan to serve the dish, prepare the pickled carrots. Bring the water and sugar to the boil in a pan, remove from the heat and add the vinegar. Leave to cool
  • 60ml of water
  • 60g of sugar
  • 125ml of apple vinegar
Peel the carrots and square them off to create 2cm-thick batons. Use a mandoline to slice the carrots lengthways into fine ribbons. Keeping the two colours separate, place in a bowl and cover with vinegar. Leave to marinate overnight
On the day you plan to serve the dish, prepare the roast chicken skin. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Make a brine by dissolving the salt in the water. Scrape any excess fat away from the chicken skin, then submerge in the brine for 1 hour
For the alexander purée, bring a large pan of water to the boil, add the alexander leaves and cook for 6 minutes until very tender. Drain and refresh in iced water. Squeeze out any excess liquid and add to a blender, blitzing until smooth. Add the xanthan, blitz again and season. Pass through a fine sieve and reserve in a squeeze bottle
  • 300g of alexanders, young leaves only, washed and picked
  • 2g of xanthan gum
  • salt, to taste
Drain and dry the skin on kitchen paper. Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper and spread out the chicken skin on top. Cover with another piece of paper and another tray, place a weight on top and cook in the oven for 19 minutes until golden. Drain on kitchen paper and set aside
Cook the rock samphire by bringing the water, butter and salt to the boil in a pan, then emulsify with a hand blender. Bring back to the boil, add the rock samphire and cook for 2 minutes or until crisp but tender. Drain and keep warm
For the scallops, make a brine by dissolving the salt in the water and submerging the scallops for 5 minutes. Drain and place on kitchen paper. Heat the rapeseed oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and sear the scallops on one side for 1 ½ minutes until golden brown. Turn the scallops over and cook for a further 30 seconds. Remove from the heat and deglaze the pan with the lemon juice. Reserve the scallops on a small dish, pouring over any cooking juices, then season with salt and keep warm
To serve, place a ring of alexander purée on each plate before adding 3 large dots of the fermented carrot purée – enough for each bite of scallop. Roll up the carrot ribbons and add to the plate and sprinkle the alexander flowers over the purée. Place a scallop in the centre of the dish and finish with the rock samphire and roast chicken skin

A protégé of Raymond Blanc, Chris Harrod has built his own niche in the heart of glorious Monmouthshire, creating beautiful, organic dishes that make the most of the countryside around him.

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