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Serves 6 as a starter or 2 as a main (served with salad and crusty fresh bread)
2 x large heritage tomatoes (Isle of Wight are ideal)
1 x garlic bulb
150ml of neutral oil
6 x hand-dived scallops
40g of butter
2 egg yolks
300 ml of neutral oil
50ml cider vinegar
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 pinch of sea salt
150g of Nduja
300g of diced brown onion
200g of Cherry Tomatoes, cut into halves
1/2 a Lemon
1 handful of parsley, finely chopped
1 Slice the tomatoes cross ways as thinly as possible and lay on parchment paper on a flat baking tray. Season with table salt.
2 Place in an oven at 60°C for around 5 hours (although 8 would be ideal), depending on how thin your slices are. When ready, the tomatoes will be deep in colour and completely dry, yet still pliable. If you notice a few slices are ready beforehand feel free to remove them from the oven ahead of time and store in an airtight container.
1 Peel the garlic cloves and place in a small sauce pan.
2 Cover the garlic with vegetable oil and place over the lowest heat. You want the oil to stay between 85°C and 90°C.
3 Confit the garlic for around 30 minutes or until the garlic cloves are soft. If the oil starts to bubble this is a sign it may be getting too hot – simply remove the pan from the heat and allow it to cool slightly before returning.
4 When ready, remove then pan from the heat and allow to cool.
Scallops (Alternatively, buy them prepared!)
1 For each scallop, slide a long thin-bladed knife along the inside of the flat part of the scallop shell until you feel it release. Slowly pull the shells apart revealing the scallop inside.
2 Using a spoon, gently scrape along the inside of the shell to release the scallop meat and then carefully lift the scallop out.
3 Remove the skirt and discard. Either remove the orange roe and reserve for another recipe or leave it on.
4 Give the scallop a quick rinse, you will notice a small, firm, white muscle on the side of the scallop. Carefully slice this off with a knife or easier still, snip it off with a pair of scissors.
5 Pat dry and set aside ready to fry.
1 Blend egg yolks (using a stick blender) with vinegar, salt and lemon until frothing.
2 Gradually add the oil, starting slowly, then once stable and emulsified, add larger quantities. You can use the confit garlic oil if you wish.
3 Once emulsified, add 2/3 of the cloves of confit garlic and blitz in until smooth.
4 Season to taste with lemon juice and salt, adding more garlic if desired, and put into a piping bag or sauce bottle, or leave in the bowl. (But also – look – we all know that the global pandemic has torn a hole in the fabric of space-time. You’re home schooling. You’re worrying. You’re busy: if you can’t make aioli from scratch, just buy some.
1 Place a pan on a low heat and add the nduja, stirring frequently. Add the diced onions and cook for around 15 minutes, until soft, being careful not to let them catch. Depending on the nduja you use, you may need to add more oil to the pan or hold some of the fat back if there is too much.
2 Once the onions are cooked, add the nduja back to the pan along with the halved tomatoes.
3 Cook for a further 5 or 6 minutes or until the tomatoes have begun to soften.
4 Add the chopped parsley and a squeeze of lemon juice and keep warm while you cook your scallops.
1 When ready to serve, place a frying pan over a high heat and add a little vegetable oil. Cook the scallops for 2 minutes on one side until a golden brown.
2 Add a knob of butter to the pan and remove from the heat. Quickly flip the scallops over and let them cook in the residual heat of the pan for a further 2 minutes, basting them in the butter as you go. Season with sea salt.
3 To plate, place a spoonful (or two) of the nduja in the bottom of each bowl. Top with a scallop (or three each, if like us, you’re having it as a main), and neatly pipe a few delicate dots of aioli around the nduja (we dropped a few blobs off a teaspoon). Decorate with the dehydrated tomato crisps and fennel fronds.