Scallops can be bought in or out of their shells. The two main varieties available in the UK are the larger king scallop and the tiny queen scallop. Look out for scallops that have been harvested by hand-diving - this method has less impact on the environment than dredging for scallops does (though carefully monitored dredging at limited times is less damaging to the sea bed than random dredging).
Scallops can be steamed, fried or grilled but should be cooked gently and only for a very short time or their delicate flavour and texture will be spoiled. Steam them in wine with aromatics as you would mussels, or wrap them in prosciutto and grill or fry for a few minutes. Scallops go well with Asian ingredients: try pan-frying them in oil with ginger and fresh coriander. They're also a good complement to hearty flavours such as bacon, chorizo, black pudding or watercress. Take care not to over-cook them: serve as soon as they are firm and opaque. You’ll need about four to five king scallops per person for a main meal or about a dozen queen scallops."
For the scallops
1 tsp olive oil
1 shallot, peeled, finely sliced
75g/2½oz butter, softened
½ lemon, zest only
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh chervil
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh chives
45g/1½oz hazelnuts, finely chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 scallops, cleaned
For the salad
½ tbsp wholegrain mustard
½ tbsp good quality white wine vinegar
1½ tbsp good quality rapeseed oil
1 Little Gem Lettuce, leaves separated
1 punnet pea shoots
1. For the scallops, heat a frying pan until warm, add the olive oil and shallot and fry gently until softened but not coloured.
2. Place the butter into a bowl and add the cooked shallot, along with all the remaining scallop ingredients, except the scallops. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper and mix well.
3. Preheat the grill to high.
4. Place the scallops onto a grill tray and top each scallop with a spoonful of the hazelnut butter. Place under the grill for 3-4 minutes, or until just cooked through. Remove from the grill and set aside to rest for one minute.
5. For the salad, whisk the mustard, vinegar and oil together in a bowl. Place the lettuce leaves and pea shoots into a bowl, drizzle over the dressing and stir to coat.
6. To serve, place three scallops onto each of 2 serving plates and serve with a pile of salad.