This is a lovely, easy way to prepare scallops, which work beautifully with the punchy chorizo and creamy leeks. If you have little individual ceramic dishes, by all means use those for smart presentation. Though if your date isn’t impressed by a giant dish of crunchy-topped gratin brought to the table as it is, you may wish to rethink your dinner companion.
SERVES 2 GENEROUSLY
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20-25 minutes
1 large or 2 small leeks, halved and finely sliced
1 tsp sea salt flakes
freshly ground black pepper
300g scallops, sliced in half if very large
75g chorizo, finely chopped
250ml double cream
a big handful (about 10g) of fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped
50g panko breadcrumbs
30g grated parmesan
1/2 a lemon, zest only
1 tbsp olive oil
really good bread and butter, to serve (think fresh baguette or sourdough)
Step 1 Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Pop the sliced leeks into a bowl and pour over a kettleful of boiling water. Leave them to sit for 2 minutes, then drain well and tip into a medium-sized roasting tin or ceramic lasagne dish. Season with the sea salt and a good grind of black pepper.
Step 2 Arrange the scallops over the leeks, then scatter over the chorizo and pour the double cream evenly over everything.
Step 3 Mix the finely chopped parsley with the panko breadcrumbs, parmesan and lemon zest, then scatter this over the dish. Drizzle over the olive oil, then transfer to the oven to bake for 20-25 minutes, until the topping is golden brown and crunchy and the scallops cooked through.
Step 4 Leave it to cool down for 5 minutes, before serving hot with the bread and butter.
These recipes are taken from best-selling cookery writer and food stylist Rukmini Iyer’s new book The Quick Roasting Tin (Square Peg, £16.99). To order a copy for £10.99 with free p&p until 12 January, call 01603 648155 or go to mailshop.co.uk. Rukmini’s fee for this feature has been donated to Crisis, Shelter and Rape Crisis South London.