Springtime scallops

A simple, sumptuous lunch or supper to make the most of British asparagus season and big, fat scallops. Ingredients below are per person; if you make this for more than two, cook the scallops in two batches so as not to overcrowd the pan, otherwise they'll steam rather than caramelise. 


4 spears of asparagus

Lots of butter

A glug of olive oil

1/2 a leek

Pinch of chilli flakes

4 scallops

Big pinch of salt

1/2 a lemon

1 big slice of good bread, toasted


1. Remove and discard the woody ends of the asparagus and cut each stalk in half to make two shorter pieces.

2. Warm a large frying pan over a high heat. Add a knob of butter and a glug of olive oil and sauté the asparagus until golden brown, around 3-4 minutes. Remove from the pan and keep to one side.

3. Turn the heat down, put a little more butter in the pan, and gently fry the leeks and chilli flakes until the leeks are nice and soft. Set the leeks to one side with the asparagus.

4. Turn the heat under the pan right up, and add a little more oil and butter. Add the scallops and a big pinch of salt and sauté for 4-5 minutes, until deep golden brown. Add the asparagus and leeks back to the pan with a huge squeeze of lemon. Serve atop the warm toasted bread, which will soak up all of the delicious cooking juices, with a wedge of lemon.