This dish lends itself just as well to dinner in the garden on a hot summer’s evening as to the bitter cold of winter. I allow one large scallop per person for a starter, but I would always happily eat more. Serve with bread for mopping up the buttery juices. I have included instructions below for preparing the scallops. You could, of course, ask your fishmonger to do this for you, but make sure you are given the shells.
Serves 6 as a starter
- 6 large scallops on the shell
- 25g pistachio nuts
20g coarse breadcrumbs
- 50g salted butter, melted
- sea salt
- Heat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas 6.
- Check that each scallop shell is tightly shut and not visibly damaged, otherwise the scallop might not be safe to eat.
- Open each shell by inserting a knife at the hinge and releasing the muscle from the upper, rounded shell with the tip of the knife, then use the knife to help pull the shells apart.
- Cut away and discard the dark intestinal sac (this is at the bottom of the shell, attached to the scallop) and trim away any other excess matter around the scallop.
- Run the knife under the meat close to the shell to release the scallop.
- Put the scallops in a bowl. Discard the flat shells, wash the rounded shells under hot water, then dry them and arrange on a baking tray – you will use these to serve the scallops in.
- Put the pistachios, breadcrumbs and a generous pinch of salt into a food processor and blitz to a coarse powder.
- Transfer to the bowl with the scallops and roll the scallops in the mixture so they are well coated.
- Gently nestle each scallop into its shell and sprinkle generously with what is left of the breadcrumb mixture.
- Spoon the melted butter on top and bake for 12–15 minutes, until golden and bubbling.
Simple but sophisticated recipe from Skye McAlpine, inspired by the unique home cooking of Venice.
SKYE McALPINE LIVES IN VENICE AND IS AUTHOR OF THE POPULAR FOOD AND LIFESTYLE BLOG ‘FROM MY DINING TABLE’
Recipes and photographs are from A Table in Venice: Recipes from my Home by Skye McAlpine, published in hardback by Bloomsbury.