Pic of Leek and mint purée with spicy scallops

Leek and mint purée with spicy scallops

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Leek and mint purée with spicy scallops

Main Serves 4 30 min
A good dinner party starter. Scallops are a luxury but you don't need many of them for this. Buy diver-caught rather than dredged scallops if you can. Some thinly sliced, crisply fried bacon or pancetta makes a good addition.


  • 8 large or 12 regular king scallops
  • 4 leeks, trimmed of roots and tough leaves, some green left on
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 6 tbsp vegetable stock
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • leaves from 4-5 sprigs mint
  • 6 tbsp double cream
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 tbsp mild curry powder
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • squeeze of lemon
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 mint sprigs to garnish


Prep time: 10 min
Cooking time: 20 min
  • Step 1

    First make the leek purée. Finely chop the soft green and white of the leeks, and wash thoroughly. Melt the butter in a medium sized lidded saucepan. Add the stock, bubble for 1 minute then add the leeks and garlic and replace the lid.
  • Step 2

    Cook for about 4 minutes until leek is just tender but still bright green. Add mint leaves and cream with some salt and pepper. Blend to a purée. Return to pan and reheat.
  • Step 3

    If the scallops are very large, slice each one in half through the middle so you have two equal sized discs. Blot the scallops with kitchen roll to dry them.
  • Step 4

    Mix together the flour and curry powder with a good pinch of salt. Dust the scallops in the curry flour mix. Heat a frying pan until really hot then add the olive oil. Shake excess flour from the scallops then add them to the pan.
  • Step 5

    Fry for one minute before turning the scallops over, adding the butter at the same time. Fry for one minute more or until the scallops are caramelized. Squeeze some lemon juice over the scallops once they are cooked.
  • Step 6

    Place a spoonful of leek purée on each plate and arrange the scallops around it. Garnish with a mint sprig before serving.

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