Pan-fried scallops with parsnip purée & pancetta crumbs

Pan-fried scallops with parsnip purée & pancetta crumbs

Cook scallops in the professional way then plate up restaurant-style with breadcrumbs and a smear of vegetable purée

Serves: 3 people
Prep: 10 mins
Cooking: 30 mins
Total Time: 40 mins


1 tbsp vegetable oil
9 large scallops, coral removed (see tip, below)
juice ½ lemon

For the pancetta crumbs
50g pancetta, cut into 5cm slices
50g fresh breadcrumb
1 tbsp thyme leaf, chopped

For the parsnip purée
200g parsnip, cut into chunks
200ml full-fat milk
small knob of butter

Recipe Tips

Scallops can come with their bright orange coral attached – these are completely edible and don’t need to be cooked any differently. Not everyone likes the coral, however, so if you don’t want it, simply cut it from the scallop with a sharp knife or scissors.


To make the pancetta crumbs (which you can do up to a day ahead), set a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the pancetta and sizzle for 5 mins, turning, until coloured. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs into the pan and continue frying and stirring until browned and crisp. Blitz the mixture in a food processor to fine crumbs. Mix in the thyme and store in an airtight container if making ahead.

To make the parsnip purée, tip the parsnips into a small saucepan with the milk and some seasoning. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 mins until the parsnips are tender. Purée the mixture in the food processor, then add the butter. Rub through a fine sieve into a clean saucepan, ready to reheat.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan over high heat. Season the scallops and lay them in a circle around the edge of the pan. When the last scallop has been added, leave for 1 min until browned. Then, starting with the first scallop, gently turn. When all the scallops are cooked, transfer to a warm plate and quickly add the lemon juice to your hot pan, scraping the bottom to form a sauce and adding a splash of water if needed.

Reheat the parsnip purée, then swipe onto 3 plates. Top with the scallops, pancetta crumbs and juices from the pan. Serve straight away.

With thanks to BBC Good Food

Recipe from Good Food magazine, November 2012