Scallops, strawberries and balsamic

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Dave Watts proves that summer berries are not just for desserts in this spectacular scallops with strawberries recipe. The colourful dish features an interplay of sweet and sharp flavours - like aged balsamic, tangy lemon and aromatic basil - with a scallop tartare adding a mild taste of the sea.

First published in 2015




Strawberry jus

Macerated strawberries

Strawberry and balsamic consommé


Strawberry toasted crumb

To garnish


  • Hand blender
  • Espuma gun
  • Muslin cloth
  • Chinois


To start the dish, make the strawberry jus - this will form the basis of the consommé and the mousse. Place the finely sliced strawberries in a heatproof bowl and cover tightly with cling film. Set the bowl over a pan of water (without the base of the bowl touching the water) and simmer for 2 hours, topping up the water in the pan if necessary
Line a sieve with muslin and set over a measuring jug or bowl. Tip the strawberries into the muslin and allow all of the liquid to drip through, leaving you with a clear strawberry jus. Set aside in the fridge until ready to use
To macerate the strawberries, chop the strawberries into oblique portions, place in a bowl and mix in the remaining ingredients. Leave in the fridge for at least 1 hour
For the strawberry and balsamic consommé, mix 200g of the strawberry jus with the remaining ingredients and leave in the fridge to chill until required
For the mousse, warm 200g of the strawberry jus to 60°C, then remove from the heat, add the basil and lemon zest and allow to infuse for 10 minutes. Pass the mixture through a chinois into a suitable container and add the remaining ingredients
Blitz with a hand blender until everything is incorporated and thickened, then pass through a chinois and transfer to an espuma gun. Charge with 2 cartridges and chill until required
Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4
To make the crumb, spread the pine nuts out onto a baking tray and roast in the oven for 4 - 5 minutes. Once golden, allow to cool then add to a bowl with the remaining ingredients. Mix to combine and set aside
To finish the dish, cook the scallops. Cook 4 of the scallops in a very hot pan (or plancha) with a little vegetable oil until golden, this should take around 1 minute on each side. Set aside to rest in a warm place
Cut the remaining 2 scallops into a 0.5cm - 1cm dice and place in a bowl. Season to taste with a pinch of cayenne pepper, salt and a small squeeze of lime juice
To plate, add a small ladleful of the consommé onto deep plates. Add the seared scallops, some macerated strawberries and the scallop tartare. Top the scallops with the crumb, a few small squeezes of the espuma mix and garnish with micro basil leaves
First published in 2015

Dave Watts may have come to cooking relatively late (at the age of twenty-one), but he more than made up for his slow start, winning Good Food Guide’s Chef to Watch accolade in 2013. He now heads up the Crown Inn in Hampshire.

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