Serves 4 as a starter or light lunch
12 fresh scallops, shelled and cleaned (roes retained if in good condition)
Olive oil for cooking
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the chicory:
3 chicory heads, outer leaves removed, shredded
50ml olive oil
75g unsalted butter
1 white onion, peeled and finely sliced
Finely grated zest of 1⁄2 orange (use the orange for the dressing)
150ml double cream
For the dressing:
8 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 tsp chopped tarragon
For the chicory, heat a large frying pan over a medium-high heat and add the olive oil and butter. When hot, add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for two minutes. Now add the chicory and cook, turning occasionally, for two minutes.
Meanwhile, for the dressing, cut the peel and pith from the orange and cut out the segments from the membranes over a bowl to catch any juice. Slice the orange segments and place in a bowl with the extra virgin olive oil and some salt and pepper. Set aside.
Turn the heat down under the chicory to medium and add the orange zest and reserved juice. Let the juice bubble away, then add the cream. Bring to a simmer and let simmer for five minutes. Remove from the heat.
To cook the scallops, heat a non-stick pan until very hot. Season the scallops with salt and drizzle some olive oil into the pan. Carefully place the scallops in the pan, one by one, remembering where you placed the first one. Turn the heat down to medium and cook for two minutes. Now flip the scallops over in the same order you placed them in the pan and cook for a further minute. Take the pan off the heat and allow the scallops to finish cooking in the residual heat.
To serve, warm up the creamed chicory if need be, then taste and correct the seasoning. Divide the chicory between four warmed plates or shallow bowls and top each serving with three scallops. Add a good drizzle of orange dressing and sprinkle with the chopped tarragon. Serve warm.
Recipe taken from Nathan Outlaw's Everyday Seafood (Quadrille £20).
Photography: David Loftus