Seared scallops with leeks & lemon chilli butter

Seared scallops with leeks & lemon chilli butter

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(16 ratings)

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 10 mins


Serves 4
Scallops love a bit of lemon and chilli plus, they are ready in a flash. The perfect way to impress last-minute guests

Nutrition and extra info

  • Easily doubled / halved

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal588
  • fat56g
  • saturates33g
  • carbs3g
  • sugars2g
  • fibre2g
  • protein19g
  • salt1.47g
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  • 4 young, but not baby leeks leeks, trimmed



    Like garlic and onion, leeks are a member of the allium family, but have their own distinct…

  • 12 scallops, roes on or off


    Skol-ips, Skal-ips

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

  • 1 tbsp light 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…

  • lemon wedges, to serve



    Oval in shape with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile…

For the butter

  • 250g pack butter, softened



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

  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • zest 2 lemon



    Oval in shape with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile…

  • bunch parsley, leaves chopped, plus extra to serve



    One of the most ubiquitous herbs in British cookery, parsley is also popular in European and…


  1. For the butter, mix all of the ingredients together in a large bowl, then beat well with a wooden spoon until there are no lumps of butter left. Spoon onto a large sheet of cling film, then wrap tightly in a sausage shape. Chill until firm (or put in the freezer if you’re short of time).

  2. Set up a pan with a steamer or suspend a heatproof colander over the top of a pan. Cut the leeks in half lengthways, then slice into long strips, about the thickness of tagliatelle. Cover, then steam for 6 mins until tender, with no signs of squeakiness. Season, then set aside.

  3. Dry the scallops on kitchen paper and season. Heat a heavy-based pan, then add the oil. Once hot, add the scallops, keeping them close together – this helps the sides to stay straight and tall rather than sagging. Sizzle for 2 mins until caramelised and you can see the heat creeping up the outside. Turn over with a palette knife, then fry for 1 min more. Take off the heat, then add a few good slices of the butter to the pan, spooning over the scallops as it melts.

  4. To serve, wind a nest of warm leeks in the centre of 4 plates, top each with 3 scallops, spoon over the buttery sauce (it looks smart trickled around the plate), then sprinkle with the remaining parsley. Squeeze over a little lemon juice before you tuck in.

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Comments, questions and tips

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3rd Jan, 2009
loved this one and mindful of other comments I cut down the quantity of butter and chilli and it worked perfectly. Will definately keep this one to do again.
sascha's picture
21st Sep, 2008
Great and easy starter. There was an unbelievable amount of butter left over, which I've now frozen and will eat later this week on a piece of steamed fish, probably cod with french beans.
22nd Jul, 2008
I used about a quarter of a pack of butter and half the quantities of chilli, lemon etc & still had some left over. Excellent starter though.
10th Jul, 2008
My husband was ecstatic when I served this dish. It was fab, and so easy to do. I added some wilted pak choy with the leek, which was nice . We have loads of butter left, but it'll come in handy in the future. I think next time I might do as Steve did and add some tiger prawns. Sounds good.
5th Jul, 2008
I agree with you Katy, more than enough butter, and I did'nt need the zest of two lemons, saying that though I did think this was a very tasty way to serve Scallops I also added a few Tiger prawns
27th Jun, 2008
I used the same quantities listed here as a main course for two, which was just about right. I made half the amount of butter, though, and still had some left over! A lovely simple recipe with great impact and taste.


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