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Family Recipes

Scallops with Asparagus Recipe

This simple starter is made using scallops, the best of British asparagus (the season is very short, lasting only 8 weeks usually end of April – end of May) drizzled with a wonderful vanilla sauce made using Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Bean Paste.

Scallops with Asparagus Tips and Vanilla Hollandaise

Ready in 30 minutes

Serves 4


For the Hollandaise

2tbsp white wine vinegar


1 bay leaf

8 peppercorns

3 free range egg yolks

1 tsp Nielsen Massey Vanilla Bean Paste

160g unsalted butter, cubed (must be at room temperature)

2 cubes of butter

2 tbsp olive oil

100g pancetta, cubed

½ small fennel, very thinly sliced

16 asparagus tips

12 scallops


* For the hollandaise, put the white wine vinegar, 2 tbsp water, bay leaf and peppercorns into a pan and simmer gently until reduced to about 1 tbsp. Strain and add 1 tbsp water to it. Transfer to a glass bowl.
* Whisk in the free range egg yolks and Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Bean Paste. Place the bowl over a pan of barely simmering water.
* Add 10g unsalted butter, whisking until melted and the mixture has thickened slightly. Gradually add the remaining 150g butter a cube at a time, whisking after each addition until all incorporated. Cook for a further 1- 2 minutes, until smooth and thickened, be careful not to overheat, add seasoning to taste.
* Remove from the heat and keep warm while you cook the scallops.
* Heat 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 cube of butter in a large heavy-based frying pan, add the pancetta and fry over a medium heat for 2-3 minutes until it begins to release some fat. When golden and crisp, remove with a slotted spoon to a plate.
* Drain off the fat, and add ½ tbsp olive oil, the asparagus tips and fennel to the pan. Fry for 1-2 minutes stirring occasionally.
* In a separate frying pan, heat ½ tbsp olive oil with a small knob of butter, when hot add the scallops and sear for 30 seconds/1 minute on each side depending on their size. Return the pancetta to the pan with the veg.
* Divide this between 4 starter plates and serve with scallops on top with the vanilla hollandaise drizzled over.


About mumsarcade

Mother to three children Reviewer of products that make mums' lives easier or more fun


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