Scallops with curried parsnip purée, parsnip crisps and pomegranate

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Gently spiced parsnip purée, tender scallops and a sweet pomegranate dressing meld flavours of land and sea with aplomb in this scallop with parsnip recipe from Marcus Wareing. A crowd-pleasing starter for Christmas.

First published in 2016





Parsnip crisps

Parsnip purée

Pomegranate dressing


  • Blender


Begin by preparing the parsnip crisps. Use a peeler to form strips of parsnip, avoiding going down to the core (you can use any scraps to make the purée). Pat the strips dry with kitchen paper and set aside until ready to cook
Once ready to cook, preheat a deep pan of vegetable oil to 180˚C. Deep-fry the strips for 4-5 minutes, or until golden, then remove from the oil, drain on kitchen towel and season with salt. Keep in a warm, dry place until required
  • vegetable oil, for deep frying
  • salt
For the curried parsnip purée, place a saucepan over a medium heat and add a dash of vegetable oil, followed by the parsnips and spices. Reduce the heat and cook for 40 minutes, or until the parsnips start to soften
Add the cream and milk, bring to a simmer and cook for a further 5 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat, transfer the contents of the pan to a blender and blitz on full speed until a smooth purée forms
  • 50ml of milk
  • 50ml of double cream
Transfer the purée to a clean saucepan and season to taste with salt. Cover with a cartouche until ready to reheat and serve
For the pomegranate dressing, reduce the pomegranate juice down in a pan until you are left with 100ml. Remove the juice from the heat and tip into a deep bowl. Quickly whisk in the rapeseed oil and set aside in a bottle until ready to use
Make sure the scallops are cleaned and stored in the refrigerator on a clean tea towel or J-cloth before cooking. To prepare the scallops, cut each in half to form 2 rounds and season lightly with salt
Meanwhile, begin to reheat the parsnip purée
Place a frying pan over a high heat and add a dash of vegetable oil. Once the pan is almost smoking, add a few of the scallops, making sure you do not overcrowd the pan, as this will cause them to stew and not sear and caramelise
  • vegetable oil
Sear the scallops on each side for 30-45 seconds or until golden brown on each side. Repeat to cook the rest of the scallops
Arrange spoonfuls of the parsnip purée around each plate, then top each mound of purée with a scallop half. Garnish with the seeds, crispy parsnips and micro cress and drizzle over the pomegranate dressing. Serve immediately

Marcus Wareing defines his inimitable cooking style as 'not British cuisine, not French cuisine – it’s Marcus cuisine.'

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