Pan-fried Scallops on a leek puree with crispy bacon and kale chips makes a really delicious way to start a meal. Sweet Scottish scallops are fried gently in butter sit on top of a creamy leek puree and topped with little pieces of crispy Ayrshire bacon and crunchy kale chips.
I love to cook with Scottish produce and both king scallops and queenies are fished locally in the Solway Firth, mainly being landed at Kirkcudbright. Leeks are part of the traditional Cock-a-leekie soup and grow well over the winter in the colder climes of Scotland. Kale also likes the cool Scottish climate and was grown as a staple winter vegetable before it became the popular health food that it has become today.
Traditional Ayrshire middle bacon is the cut of bacon that I remember as a child. The back and streaky bacon is rolled, tied and sliced giving you both the back and the streaky rashers in one piece. Unfortunately, Ayrshire middle bacon is not readily available so if you can’t get it then use streaky bacon as I did.
When you read the recipe you will see there are quite a number of different steps, these are all fairly straightforward and I have separated out each part to make it easy to follow. Don’t be tempted to leave out the kale chips, they are so easy to make and really add to the overall taste and texture of the dish.
Recipe for Pan-Fried Scottish Scallops on a Leek Puree with crispy bacon and kale chips
- 12 scallops 3 per person
- 2 medium leeks
- 30 g butter
- 10 g kale chips
- 1 tsp Scottish rapeseed oil
- 2 rashers Ayrshire middle or streaky bacon
- Salt & freshly ground pepper
- Split the leeks from top to bottom and rinse thoroughly to remove any earth and grit.
- Drain and chop finely.
- Melt 20g butter in a saute pan on a medium heat, add the leeks and saute gently until the leeks have softened but not coloured, about 10-15 minutes, leave to cool.
- When cool, puree in a liquidiser or food processor with a tablespoon of cream and a tablespoon of milk. The texture of the puree should be that of whipped cream, so add a little more liquid if it is too thick.
- Cut the thick ribs out of the kale and cut into small pieces.
- Rub the oil into the kale pieces
- Spread onto a baking sheet and bake at 200C for 10 minutes (check frequently to make sure they don’t burn)
- When crisp remove to a plate covered in kitchen paper and they will crisp up further
- Grill or oven bake the bacon (while you are making the kale chips) until it is brittle and crisp about 5-8 minutes.
- When cool, crumble into small pieces
- Melt the remaining 10g butter in a frying pan on a medium to high heat.
- Cook the scallops for 3 minutes each side.
- Spread a dessert spoonful of the leek puree across each plate.
- Top each with three scallops
- Drizzle over the buttery juices from the pan.
- Sprinkle with crispy bacon and kale chips.
- Place a few kale chips up either side of the row of scallops.
This recipe for Pan-Fried Scottish Scallops makes the perfect appetiser for a seasonal dinner party at New Year or for the Ultimate Burns Supper on the 25th January.
More Recipes using Scallops
Beetroot Spaghetti with Scallops – Fuss Free Flavours