Irish Queen Scallops in brown butter with Cauliflower Purée

Irish Queen Scallops in brown butter with Cauliflower Purée

Irish queen scallops are delicious and an affordable alternative when their fat Cousins the King Scallop becomes expensive at Christmas time ly sweet. They cook very quickly and hit all the flavour notes in this dish alongside nutty brown butter, salty pancetta and smooth cauliflower puree.  Serve up this dish to share as a starter or you could of course clean the shells and serve on those as an amuse bouche!


This dish is great value and full of flavour, a real treat.


Irish queen scallops in brown butter with cauliflower puree & crispy pancetta

Serves 4 as a shared starter


1kg Irish queen scallops, whole

Knob of butter, 25g

¼ lemon

½ head of cauliflower, chopped fine

200ml milk, approx

Knob of butter, 25g

Salt & pepper

3 slices of pancetta


Clean the queen scallops. Remove the scallop from the shell and using your fingers gently prise the firm white meat away from the frill and gut. Keep the scallops on a plate in the fridge and discard the rest.

To make the cauliflower puree, add the chopped cauliflower to a small pot. Cover with the milk and a pinch of salt and pepper, put the lid on the pot and simmer on low for 10-15 minutes.

When the cauliflower is soft, add in the butter and blend until smooth, keep warm.

To make the crispy pancetta, put the slices on a baking tray and crisp up under the grill for 5 minutes, set to one side.

To cook the queen scallops. Warm a frying pan on a medium to high heat. Add the butter and let it melt, foam and start to turn brown. Add all the queen scallops, caramelise and brown them in the hot butter for a minute or 2. Add a pinch of salt and squeeze of lemon and toss to coat for a further 2 minutes and take off the heat.

To serve:

Add a couple of heaped tablespoons of the hot cauliflower puree to a wide serving bowl, pour the scallops on top along with the brown butter, chop the pancetta and sprinkle it over the queen scallops.

Finish with black pepper and serve immediately.

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