The subtle sweetness of scallops Saint Jacques make them popular among shellfish lovers. Want to know why we created a dish with these North Sea fish? Read it here.
We chose to combine the scallops Saint Jacques with a sweet vegetable, pumpkin.
Scallops are mildly sweet and briney, making them a complementary pairing for vegetables that have a bit of sweetness—like pumpkin—to balance out their taste. These two ingredients also share fatty, green cucumber-like aromas in common. The flavor and taste of pumpkin lends well to desserts, which is why its commonly used for pumpkin pie.
By roasting the pumpkin in the oven, we caramelize its sugars and intensify the pumpkin’s natural sweetness. Adding a touch of butter and cream to our pumpkin purée helps to round out the intensity and sweetness. Pan-searing our scallops creates an added layer of caramellic aromas, which is reinforced by the roasted hazelnuts. The nuts themselves offer a crunchy contrast to the otherwise luscious, creamy textures of this dish.
To finish, freshly grated lemon zest gives this dish a bright citrus accent. Crunchy, pickled pumpkin slices are another option for anyone craving yet another puckery sour element to contrast the scallops and pumpkin crème.
Scallop Saint Jacques – pumpkin – lemon – hazelnut
- 1 pumpkin
- a dash of heavy cream
- 2 tbsps unsalted butter
- salt, to taste
Preheat oven to 200ºC/392ºF.
Peel the pumpkin and cut into equal pieces. Wrap the pieces in aluminum foil with a knob of butter. Bake for about 30 to 40 minutes.
Check that the pumpkin is fully cooked by seeing if you can easily mash the pumpkin flesh using a spoon or fork. Once done, transfer the cooked pumpkin to a blender and purée. Stir in a dash of cream and a knob of butter, then season to taste. Reserve and keep warm.
Scallops Saint Jacques
- 8 Scallop Saint Jacques
Season scallops with salt and pepper. Pan sear them in hot olive oil until golden on both sides.
- 20 g hazelnuts, toasted
- 1 lemon, zested
- a few leaves of fresh chervil
Toast the hazelnuts in a pan until they turn golden. Chop coarsely. Dab the pumpkin crème on a plate. Add 2 scallops to each plate, then sprinkle with the toasted hazelnuts. Finish with some freshly grated lemon zest and/or some chervil.