Scallops On Spiced Lentils

Here I serve Scallops with spiced lentils and wilted spinach. Note that there is not a huge kick in the lentils as we don’t want to overwhelm the delicate flavour of the scallops.

Servings

2

Ready In:

20 Minutes

Good For:

A romantic dinner

Inroduction

About this Recipe

By: Tom Arundel

Scallops are a wonderful luxury. They are certainly not cheap and if you go for hand-dived scallops in the shell then they are very expensive but despite the protestations of celebrity chefs, scallops that have been frozen make for a very serviceable and yummy alternative. If available make sure that you go for the larger king scallops rather than the much smaller queenies.

Scallops-on-Spiced-Lentils - Think Nourished: The Harrogate Health Coach. Allow Tom to help you set your goals and guide you through the process.

Ingredients

  • 6 king scallops, roe attached
  • 125g red lentils
  • 250g water
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed and finely chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin powder or seeds, crushed
  • 1 tsp coriander powder or seeds, crushed
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (or to taste)
  • 1 bag baby leaf spinach
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • butter
  • olive oil

You need to make sure that the scallops are the last thing you cook and get the timing right. If you overcook them or leave them waiting then they will go hard and rubbery – not nice. I would not recommend a huge amount of variation with this dish. You can play with the spices in the lentils to give it more of an Indian flavour (maybe add green cardamom, cloves and fenugreek instead of the cinnamon) or more of a north African scent (ginger) but you want to aim for a gentle spice that complements rather than overwhelms the sweet scallop taste. Experiment with the spices and read some Indian and Moroccan dishes to understand the predominant spicing that these cuisines use – they do vary from region to region so you can get quite regionally specific in the flavours you create.

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1

Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a saucepan over a medium heat. Add the chopped onion and garlic and sweat for a few minutes until softened and translucent.

Step 2

Add the cumin, coriander, cinnamon stick and cayenne pepper and stir into the onion and garlic. Cook for a couple of minutes until the spices start to darken a little and a paste forms

Step 3

Add the dry lentils and coat with the spice mixture for 30 seconds

Step 4

Add the water to the lentils, add 1 tsp of salt (or to taste) and bring to the boil. Turn down to a simmer and cook for 10-12 minutes until the lentils are soft and the water has been fully absorbed then take off the heat and leave

Step 5

While the lentils are cooking pat the scallops dry with a paper towel. Sprinkle them generously with salt and pepper. Put to one side

Step 6

Heat a small knob of butter in a pan or wok over a medium heat and when this is sizzling add the spinach. Stir round for a couple of mins and add salt and pepper to taste. Once wilted take off the heat

Step 7

Heat a knob of butter (or 1tbsp olive oil) in a good sized frying pan over medium-high heat

Step 8

Once the butter starts to bubble add the scallops to the pan. The first scallop should sizzle on contact. If it doesn’t, wait a few seconds to let the pan heat before adding the rest

Step 9

Cook the scallops for 2 minutes, then turn them over – it should be nicely browned on the underside

Step 10

Cook the scallops on the other side for another 2-3 mins. Both sides of the scallop should be seared golden-brown and the sides should look opaque all the way through. The scallops should feel firm to the touch, but still slightly soft – any more and it will be tough and chewy

Step 11

Plate the lentils first, then the spinach and finally the scallops on top while they are still warm

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