8 large scallops or 12 small ones, shelled and corals reserved
4-5 celery sticks, cut into thin batons
2 tablespoons lemon juice, strained
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons vinaigrette
Salt and pepper
For the Vinaigrette:
7 fl oz (200 ml) white wine vinegar
1 level tablespoon saffron threads
3 and 1/2 fl oz (100 ml) extra virgin olive oil
Freshly ground sea salt
For the Puree:
1/2 celeriac, diced
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons double cream
2 oz (50 grams) butter
Salt Directions: Put the vinegar into a pan with the saffron over a low heat and let it reduce by half.
Leave it to cool down.
When cold, whisk in the olive oil and season with salt.
If the scallops have been stored in the refrigerator, remove them and let them to come to room temperature before cooking.
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) Gas Mark 4.
To make the puree, put the celeriac in an oven-proof dish with 5 tablespoons water, a pinch of salt and the olive oil, cover, seal completely with foil and bake for about 30 minutes until soft.
Transfer the celeriac mixture to a food processor and process, adding the cream as the motor is running, then pass through a fine sieve to produce a smooth puree. (It is important to process the celeriac while it is still hot, as it makes the puree smoother and it will pass more easily through the sieve).
Set the puree aside.
Put the celery in a bowl with a handful of ice to crisp up.
Mix together the lemon juice and half the olive oil.
Heat an ovenproof frying pan (two if you have 12 scallops).
When it is hot but not smoking, pour in the rest of the olive oil, then add the scallops (don’t season at this stage as the salt will make them leach out their moisture and they will become dry).
Cook the scallops for 1 minute (or 1 and 1/2 minutes if large), until golden underneath, then turn them over and put into oven for 1 further minute.
Season and transfer them to the bowl of saffron vinaigrette.
Gently reheat the celeriac puree in a small pan and season if necessary.
Remove the pan from the heat and beat in the butter.
Spoon the puree on to individual plates and arrange the scallops on top.
Drain the celery from the ice, season with the lemon and oil mixture and arrange on top of the scallops.
Drizzle the remaining saffron vinaigrette around. Serves 4.
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