Baked scallops with sea urchin butter

Stuart Gillies serves an elegant starter of buttery scallops baked in their shells with a peppery apple salad
By Stuart Gillies
Baked scallops with sea urchin butter
  • Rating:
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Prep Time: 35 minutes
  • Effort: medium


  • 3 large Orkney scallops

For the sea urchin butter

  • 100 g sea urchin roe
  • 500 g unsalted butter
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 4 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp brandy
  • 1 pinches cayenne pepper
  • squeeze lemon juice

For the salad

  • 1 apple
  • small bunch watercress, leaved picked and washed
  • 50 g curly endive
  • 2 tsp white wine vinaigrette


1. Open the scallops carefully, separating the meat from the skirt and the coral. Wash the meat, dry with kitchen paper and keep in the fridge until needed.

2. To sterilise the scallop shells, put them in a pan of cold water and bring to the boil. Remove the shells, cool and clean well.

3. For the sea urchin butter: put all the ingredients in a blender and season with salt and pepper. Blend until smooth then taste ' it may need a little more salt or more lemon juice to sharpen it. Chill in the fridge until firm but not too hard.

4. For the salad: cut the apple into ½ cm thick slices then cut through them lengthways to make ½ cm wide sticks.

5. Toss the apple sticks gently with the watercress and endive. Dress with the vinaigrette.

6. Take the scallops out of the fridge and sit them back in their cleaned shells. Put under a hot grill for 3 minutes or until a third cooked and still soft to the touch. Dot the sea urchin butter over the scallops and put back under the grill for 1 minute more.

7. Serve the scallops in their shells on a bed of rock salt. Top each shell with a little of the apple salad and serve at once.

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