Scallops and Mushrooms with Passion Fruit Vinaigrette served on Parsnip Purée.
Combined recipes serves 4 as a starter.
This is a wonderful time of the year, harvest season and New Zealand grown passion fruit are one of my loved produce.
The first thing we have to make is the passion fruit vinaigrette as it develops while its resting.
If you like you can use pulp from whole passion fruits with the pips in for added crunch and texture. I like the vinaigrette this way. If you don’t them, the seeds then place the pulp from the fruit in a fine sieve over a bowl and with the back of teaspoon pass the pulp through the sieve into the bowl.
Passion Fruit Vinaigrette
3/4 cup passion fruit juice, strained, no seeds or with seeds as above.
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
Zest from one lime
1/3 runny honey
1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme. Lemon thyme is great
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
1 cup olive oil
Mix passion fruit juice, mustard, honey, zest, vinegar, thyme, salt and pepper in a blender or whisk briskly. If you are including the seeds whisk only. Do not combine in a blender.
Slowly drizzle in the olive oil whisking until all of the oil has been added and the ingredients have emulsified, come together.
Taste for seasoning and adjust as required.
This can be made just before the scallops. Its a classic and well worth the energy to prepare as a bed for the final dish.
200 g parsnip, finely sliced
300 ml full cream milk
1 bay leaf
1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
In a medium sized pot over a medium heat add the milk, parsnip and bay leaf and bring to a simmer. When the parsnip is cooked, about ten minutes transfer parsnip and half the milk into a blender, pulse a few time, season with sea salt & freshly ground pepper, then add extra virgin olive oil and pulse. Leave to rest in warm place.
Scallops with Mushrooms
12 large or 16 small scallops
160 g chanterelle or small brown button mushrooms
3 tsp olive oil
1 tsp butter
1 clove garlic, peeled and finely minced
2 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ cup Passion Fruit Vinaigrette
Rinse the scallops and dry them thoroughly. Place them between two layers of paper towels, pat dry, and repeat with fresh towels. It’s very important to make sure the scallops are completly dry so when they hit the heat they will caramelise and develop great colour. If they are too damp they will poach in the oil and butter. Set aside.
Brush the mushrooms with a pastry brush to remove any earthy bits that may be clinging to them. This is the best way to clean them, for they will retain all of their earthy flavour.
Delicately trim off the earthy bottoms off the mushroom stems, retaining as much of each mushroom as possible. Slice the largest mushrooms in half.
Heat 1 tsp of olive oil on a medium high heat in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet or frypan. Add the mushrooms and sauté over high heat, stirring very gently. Cook for about 3 minutes until they begin to release their juices. Add a pinch of salt and grind in some black pepper, stir and set aside in a warm bowl with all the juices from the skillet. Give the skillet a quick wipe, no need to wash.
Assemble the minced garlic and chopped parsley on a small plate next to the stove.
Heat the remaining 2 tsp of olive oil in the heavy-bottomed frying pan. When it;s hot but not smoking add the butter. Let it melt, combine with the oil and then add the scallops.
Allow the scallops to sear over high heat for one minute, not much longer. Do not disturb them while they are cooking as we want them to develop wonderful colour.
Flip them over after 1 minute, they should have a nice golden brown colour on the side tat was on the heat. Cook the same was for one minute. Add the minced garlic and cook for 30 seconds to allow the garlic to release a sweet flavour. We don’t want to cook the garlic on heat for too long.
Add the cooked mushrooms and allow them to heat through for another minute. Turn off the heat and.
Add the chopped parsley and Passion Fruit Vinaigrette and stir to combine, gently. We want to ensure the vinaigrette coats all of the ingredients but not stiring it to a point where the mushrooms break apart.
On warmed plates spread a heaped tbsp of the still warm parsnip purée. Arrange portions of the scallops on top of the parsnip purée. When all of the plates are prepared spread and drizzle the rest of the mushrooms and juices over the plates.
Serve immediately, accompanied by a side salad of diced fresh tomatoes and mixed salad greens that have been seasoned with some fresh chopped basil and olive oil.