- 4 Young ( not baby) leeks trimmed
- 12 Scallops, Roes on or off
- 1 Tablespoon light olive oil
- Lemon wedges, to serve
- For the butter:
- 250g softened butter
- 1 Red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
- 2 Garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 lemon zests
- A bunch of parsley, leaves chopped, plus extra to serve
For the butter, mix all of the ingredients together in a large bowl, then beat well with a wooden spoon until there are no lumps of butter left. Spoon onto a large sheet of cling film, then wrap tightly in a sausage shape. Chill until firm (or put in the freezer if you’re short of time).
Set up a pan with a steamer or suspend a heatproof colander over the top of a pan. Cut the leeks in half lengthways, then slice into long strips, about the thickness of tagliatelle. Cover, then steam for 6 mins until tender, with no signs of squeakiness. Season, then set aside.
Dry the scallops on kitchen paper and season. Heat a heavy-based pan, then add the oil. Once hot, add the scallops, keeping them close together – this helps the sides to stay straight and tall rather than sagging. Sizzle for 2 mins until caramelised and you can see the heat creeping up the outside. Turn over with a palette knife, then fry for 1 min more. Take off the heat, then add a few good slices of the butter to the pan, spooning over the scallops as it melts.
To serve, wind a nest of warm leeks in the centre of 4 plates, top each with 3 scallops, spoon over the buttery sauce (it looks smart trickled around the plate), then sprinkle with the remaining parsley. Squeeze over a little lemon juice before you tuck in.