Scallops with fennel relish and chunky parsnip mash

Scallops with fennel relish and chunky parsnip mash

By
From
Good Better Green
Serves
2

If you find fennel a little intimidating, this relish will shine a new light on it. Fennel has become one of my staple vegetables – grated into salads, roasted, lightly steamed. The recipe is a little time-consuming, as it requires lots of chopping, but it is worth the effort and, if you have any relish left over, it is also delicious with cheese and crackers or bean pâté crostini. If you can only find whole ancho chillies, grind them to a powder in a spice grinder or strong blender, or use a sharp knife to chop finely.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
300-350g parsnips, trimmed and roughly chopped
handful lamb’s lettuce, roughly chopped
glug extra virgin olive oil
good grating of nutmeg
butter, for frying
8 scallops

For the relish

Quantity Ingredient
1 fennel bulb, stalks discarded and fronds reserved, for garnish
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
1-2 teaspoons ancho chilli powder
1 large ripe, but not too soft, pear, peeled and diced
3 tablespoons tangerine, juiced
3 tablespoons orange, juiced
1 tablespoon lime, juiced
2 tablespoons very finely chopped mixture of dill, coriander and/or parsley
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. For the relish, peel the outer layer of the fennel bulb using a vegetable swivel peeler to get rid of any tough, stringy bits, then separate the layers and cut into small dice. Heat the olive oil in a pan and gently fry the fennel and onion with a pinch of salt until soft. Add the chilli powder and fry for a further 1–2 minutes.
  2. Add the pear and all the citrus juices and simmer over a medium heat, stirring regularly, until the juices have reduced to give a concentrated relish. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the fresh herbs. Set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, cook the parsnips in a little water until tender, then drain and mash using a potato masher. Stir in the lamb’s lettuce, olive oil, nutmeg and some salt, then cover and keep warm.
  4. Heat some butter in a cast-iron or other heavy-based frying pan over a medium-high heat until frothy. Season the scallops with salt and black pepper before placing in the hot pan. Fry for 1–2 minutes, then turn them over, reduce the heat a little and cook for a further 1–3 minutes, depending on their size, or until just cooked. Take care not to overcook them.
  5. Serve the scallops on a mound of parsnip mash, topped with the relish.
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