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Seasonal recipe of the week – Angela Hartnett's scallops with pumpkin purée and candied walnuts

13 October 2011
Seasonal recipe of the week – Angela Hartnett's scallops with pumpkin purée and candied walnuts

Ingredients
(Serves four)

For the apple vinaigrette 500ml apple juice
250ml extra virgin olive oil
2tbs cider vinegar
Sea salt

For the pumpkin purée 500g diced pumpkin
25g chilled butter, plus a little extra, diced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the candied walnuts 100g shelled walnuts
200g caster sugar
25g chilled butter, diced

For the shallot chutney 3 shallots, peeled and finely diced
100ml Chardonnay or white wine vinegar
Sprig of thyme
1 bay leaf

For the apple salsa 1 Granny Smith apple
½ cucumber
Small handful of chervil, chopped

For the scallops 2tsp mild curry powder
8 large scallops
Olive oil, for frying

To serve 4 slices of pata negra ham
Handful of mixed cress


Method
To make the apple vinaigrette, pour the apple juice into a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Cook until the juice has reduced to 50ml. Pour it into a bowl, leave to cool and mix with the olive oil and vinegar and a pinch of the sea salt.

Next make the pumpkin purée. Tip the diced pumpkin into a separate pan with 25g of the butter and some salt. Cover with a lid and leave to sweat over a medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes or until the pumpkin starts to release its juices.

Remove the lid and continue to cook over a medium heat for 10-15 minutes or until the pumpkin flesh is soft and any liquid has evaporated. Transfer to a food processor and blend with a few extra knobs of chilled butter until smooth. Pass the purée through a fine sieve into a bowl and check for seasoning.

For the candied walnuts, preheat the oven to 200˚C/Gas 6. Scatter the walnuts over a baking sheet in an even layer, then toast in the oven for 2 minutes or until hot.

Meanwhile, melt the sugar with 4 tbsp of water in a heavy-based frying pan over a low heat. Once all the sugar has dissolved, increase the heat and cook the sugar to a golden caramel.

Carefully add the walnuts to the caramel with a pinch of salt and the diced butter. Swirl the pan about to mix together for a few seconds, then transfer the nuts with a slotted spoon onto a baking sheet lined with baking parchment. Allow the walnuts to cool completely and then roughly chop.

For the chutney, add the shallots to a heavy-based pan. Cover with the vinegar and add some salt and the thyme and bay leaf.

Cook over a low heat for about 8 minutes or until the liquid has evaporated and the shallots are very soft. Remove the bay leaf.

When you are ready to serve, peel, core and cut the apple into 5mm dice and also peel, deseed and cut the cucumber into 5mm dice. Mix the dice with a spoonful of the shallot chutney, the chopped candied walnuts, chervil and vinaigrette.

For the scallops, mix together the curry powder and 2tsp of sea salt in a bowl. Cut the scallops in half horizontally through the middle. Sprinkle both sides of each half with some of the curry powder and salt mix. Heat a little olive oil in a large, non-stick frying pan. Add the scallops and cook on each side for 30-40 seconds or until golden, turning them in the order they were put in. Remove from the pan and leave to rest for a minute.

To serve, arrange small spoonfuls of the pumpkin purée around four warmed plates and sit the scallop halves on top. Spoon the apple salsa over and around the scallops and add slices of the pata negra ham and the cress on the top.

Recipe taken from The Good Food Guide: Recipes Published 8 October, £16.99

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