Pan-fried scallops with butternut squash two ways

Pan-fried scallops with butternut squash two ways

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(5 ratings)

Prep: 30 mins Cook: 40 mins

More effort

Serves 2

Serve up a restaurant-style starter at home - much of it can be made ahead so you can relax with a glass of wine on the night

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal824
  • fat62g
  • saturates24g
  • carbs27g
  • sugars15g
  • fibre5g
  • protein40g
  • salt3.98g
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  • 6 large scallops, prepared and halved horizontally


    Skol-ips, Skal-ips

    This is the bi-valve shellfish with a flat, fanned bottom shell and domed fan shaped upper shell…

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

For the puree

  • 50g butter



    Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • bottom half of 1 small butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into small chunks (save the top half for the dressing)
  • 75ml fresh chicken stock
  • 1 tsp finely grated parmesan



    Parmesan is a straw-coloured hard cheese with a natural yellow rind and rich, fruity flavour. It…

For the warm salad

  • top half of 1 butternut squash, peeled
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 150g piece streaky bacon, cut into small pieces, or pre-cut lardons
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp small capers
    Capers in bowl



    Capers are the small flower buds of the Capparis shrub that grows in the Mediterranean. As they…

  • 1 tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped chives


  1. To make the purée, heat the butter in a small saucepan and add the squash. Sweat it over a very low heat for 5 mins, then pour over the stock. Cover and gently simmer for 10-12 mins until the squash is very soft.

  2. Take off the heat and add the parmesan. Use a hand blender or food processor to blitz the squash until smooth, then press through a sieve into another saucepan. Season to taste and set aside.

  3. To make the warm salad, trim the squash into a neat block, then neatly dice the flesh into cubes no larger than 1cm. Heat half the oil in a non-stick frying pan. Fry the squash for 10 mins, or until tender and coloured, then tip onto a plate.

  4. Place the pan back on the heat and gently fry the bacon for 10 mins, or until crisp and brown. Add the onion and cook for 2 mins to soften in the fat, then add the capers and squash, drizzle over the sherry vinegar and toss together for 1 min. Off the heat, stir in the chives and the rest of the oil, then tip everything into a bowl and keep warm.

  5. Have the scallops to hand as you will need to work fast when cooking them. Clean out the frying pan and place it back on the heat with a drizzle more oil. When the oil starts to shimmer, carefully lay the scallops in the pan one at a time, like points on a clock face, starting at 6 o’clock, so you remember which one went in first.

  6. Scallops take very little time to cook, so by the time the last one is in the pan, the first will be brown and ready to turn over. Flip all the scallops over and give them about 1 min more, then lift onto kitchen paper on a plate to drain the oil. With the salad and the purée still warm, you are now ready to plate up.

  7. Spoon half the warm salad down the middle of each plate. Overlap 6 pieces of scallop along the salad. Use a spoon to swipe the purée around the outside of the food. Drizzle everything with a touch more oil, and you are now ready to serve.

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Comments, questions and tips

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30th Sep, 2013
Was a lot of effort but was seriously good and worth it!
10th Mar, 2012
Was a lot of effort for the end result. Was nice but not sure would make again!!
8th Oct, 2011
Already a favourite and worth the effort to make.
13th Mar, 2011
wow... really love it!
16th Feb, 2011
We really enjoyed this and I would make it again.
30th Nov, 2010
This was great - we really enjoyed the different combinations and considering it was my first time cooking a Gordon Ramsey recipe (which I normally consider overly complicated...), it was reasonably straightforward. A good way to make scallops seasonal.
michelle-macdougall's picture
17th Nov, 2010
This was absolutely gorgeous and fairly simple to make. It was my first time trying butternut squash, and I have to say I loved it, I will definately cook with it again. This was a very elegant and delicious dish.
9th Oct, 2014
I wanted to make this as a starter on Boxing Day but wanted to do as much of the prep Xmas eve. Will the purée keep in the fridge until then and can you make the warm salad in advance and reheat?
goodfoodteam's picture
28th Oct, 2014
Hi there, thanks for your question. Yes the puree will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days. Make the salad and reheat but don't add the chives until you are about to serve this dish.
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