Watercress and Scallop Salad

For a sophisticated starter try James Martin's elegant seafood dish, combining succulent scallops with a tangy green salad
By James Martin
Watercress and Scallop Salad
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: medium



  • 12 fresh king scallops, prepared, with corals left on
  • 200 g rocket
  • 100 g watercress
  • a large handful of flat leaf parsley
  • sunflower oil, for deep-frying
  • 8 large fresh sage leaves
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 15 g butter
  • salted capers
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • juice of 1 large lemons
  • 1⁄2 large red chillies, deseeded and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


1. Check that the scallops have been thoroughly cleaned and remove any thin black threads. Pat dry with kitchen paper and set aside.

2. Toss the rocket and watercress together in a large bowl. Pick off the leaves from the parsley sprigs and add to the bowl.

3. Heat the sunflower oil to a depth of about 1cm in a frying pan. When the oil is hot enough to detect a haze rising from it, add the sage leaves one at a time and deep-fry for 1 minute until just translucent. Drain on kitchen paper. Remember to turn off the heat under the oil pan as soon as you have finished, for safety's sake.

4. For the dressing, whisk the olive oil with the lemon juice, chilli, garlic and seasoning. Toss the salad leaves with the dressing, season and divide between 4 serving plates.

5. Heat a large non-stick frying pan until you feel a good heat rising. Add the olive oil, then the scallops and fry for about 2 minutes on each side, seasoning well. Do not overcook, or they will become tough. Add the butter and allow the scallops to soak up the buttery pan juices. Arrange on the salad and scatter over the capers. Grind over more pepper and serve immediately.

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