Saturday 11 April 2009

Scallops on Leek Puree

This was one of the recipes I found whilst digging around on Monday morning, the first day of the Easter holidays! I was determined to cook a range of things that are normally preserved for 'special occasions' and decided that with a bit more time on my hands, I had the opportunity to try things out!

If you've read my previous post, you'll know that I was saving this for Wednesday night as the boyf was out on Tuesday and really wanted the scallops. So, I duly waited and prepared them for Wednesday evening: Scallops wrapped in streaky bacon served on a bed of leek puree. Needless to say, the five-a-side football took precedent and I could have had the scallops whenever!

It was a recipe from the head chef, Gregorio Piazza, at Giancarlo and Katie Caldesi’s outside London venture, Caldesi In Campagna, in Bray. I found it in an old Delicious magazine.

Scallops wrapped in Pancetta on a Leek Puree with a Coral Ragu


16 large fresh scallops with corals
16 slices of pancetta
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
3 tbsp white wine

1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 large leek, washed and sliced
1 white onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 small potato
500ml vegetable stock or water

2tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 small carrot, very finely chopped
1 celery stick, very finely chopped
1 small white onion, very finely chopped
1 heaped tsp tomato puree
1tsp finely chopped flatleaf parsley
3 tbsp white wine vinegar
mixed salad leaves to garnish


1) Remove the coral from the scallops. Pat the scallops dry, season lightly and wrap each in a slice of pancetta. Set aside.

2) For the leek puree, heat the oil over a low heat and add the leek, onion and garlic and cook, stirring, for 10 mins. Add the potato and stir for another 5 mins. Add the stock and simmer for 10 mins until the vegetables are tender. Whizz in a blender until smooth. Return to the pan and keep warm.

3) For the coral ragu, heat the oil over a low heat and fry the carrot, celery and onion for 5 mins. Chop the reserved scallop coral finely and add to the pan, stirring. Add the tomato puree and parsley. Season to taste, stir, and pour in 50ml water and the vinegar. Cook gently for 10 mins.

4) Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180c. Heat the oil in a large ovenproof frying pan and fry the scallops for 4/5 minutes, turning until the pancetta browns. Pour the oil away and add the white wine and a splash of water. Put the pan in the oven for 5 mins.

5) Put 1 tbsp leek puree on 8 warmed plates. Top with the scallops and pan juices. Spoon the coral ragu sauce alongside to serve and dress with salad leaves.

I know it sounds 'phaffy', but I took just the parts I wanted! I'm not particularly a fan of the coral (it's a bit too fishy for me!) so left that out and served with a drop of sweet chilli instead. I was also certain I had an onion and a potato, but didn't, so left out the potato and used spring onions instead! The leek puree was a little runny and the potato would have thickened it, but the taste was still good. I also used streaky bacon instead of pancetta, I've never been one for actually following a recipe! A chilled Pinot Grigio was served alongside, cool and clear to cut through the crispiness and saltiness of the wrapping.


  1. I have never eaten scallops before. Just a littlescared of seafood that is not very common/local. They look gorgeous!

  2. Oh How delicious it is to see this post on the week-end. Haven't cook scallops for awhile. This is just give me an idea...


Would love to hear your thoughts and ideas!
Merlotti x

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