Recipe: Gabriel's Scallops

By Grant Allen

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Layers of flavour build this scallop dish. Photo / Jason Burgess
Layers of flavour build this scallop dish. Photo / Jason Burgess

Typical of Gabriel's food, layers of flavour build the dish. There are several elements here that may seem overpowering, but the richness of scallops can stand the match.

Serves 6 as a starter

Allow 4- 6 scallops per person, preferably just opened.

• 6 leaves fresh basil
• 12 stems flat leaf parsley, leaves picked off
• 2 spring onions
• ½ green chilli
• 2 cloves of garlic, peeled
• ½ green apple
• 2 medium tomatoes
• 1 medium eggplant
• 2 tbsp tahini
• Juice of 1 lemon
• 12 large pitted black olives
• 1 tbsp capers
• Juice of 1 lime
• 2 handfuls of mache (lamb's lettuce) or baby spinach
• 1 tsp of grated fresh turmeric or half a tsp of turmeric powder.
• Olive oil

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.

2. Prick the eggplant with a fork, sit it on a baking dish and bake it till the eggplant collapses. This will take around 20 minutes.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

3. Split the eggplant and scrape out the creamy, roasted flesh into your food processor. Add the tahini and lemon juice. Puree, adding enough oil to make a smooth paste. Season well with salt and pepper and set aside.

4. Finely chop the basil, a third of the parsley leaves, spring onions, green chilli and one of the garlic cloves. Dice one of the tomatoes and the apple half into small cubes. Mix together in a bowl with a splash of olive oil and set aside.

5. Rinse the olives and capers to remove any brine. Add these with a second third of the parsley and the lime juice into your food processor. Pulse, adding a little oil as you go to make a stiff paste. Set aside. Finely chop the remaining third of the parsley and the last garlic clove.

6. Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a heavy-based pan to a high heat. Carefully sear the scallops, just cooking them, and stir in the parsley garlic and turmeric. You may have to do this in two batches. Don't let the scallops stew. Season well with salt and pepper. Set aside and keep warm.

7. Spoon the eggplant puree into 6 bowls. Arrange the mache or spinach leaves over the eggplant. Divide the herb, tomato and apple mix between the bowls. Sit the scallops on this and dab with a little of the olive paste.

- Herald on Sunday

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