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Article by Sarah Hamilton-Walker | 1st February 2018

Recipe: Mood Food

The way to a man’s heart, they say, is through his stomach and what more seductive way is there to romance a loved one than through food? And our recipe is sure to hit the spot!


Both watercress and scallops are long believed by many to be aphrodisiacs. As legend has it, the goddess Aphrodite was carried to earth on the shell of a scallop. And, thanks to this very high profile job of one lowly bivalve, scallops have enjoyed an aphrodisiac reputation since the time of ancient Greece!

Serves 2
• 1 tsp olive oil
• 1 shallot, peeled and finely sliced
• 45g hazelnuts
• 75g butter, softened
• Zest of half a lemon
• 1 tbsp fresh chervil, chopped
• Salt and freshly ground
black pepper• 6 large scallops, cleaned (shells optional for presentation)

For the salad
• ½ tbsp wholegrain mustard
• ½ tbsp white wine vinegar
• 1 ½ tbsp sunflower oil
• 1 handful fresh watercress
• 1 handful fresh pea shoots

1. Heat the oil in a frying pan on a low-medium heat, add the shallot and cook gently until softened. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.
2. Add the hazelnuts to a food processor and pulse until chopped quite finely. Be careful not to blend for too long otherwise they will form a paste.
3. In a bowl, mix together the butter, hazelnuts, softened shallots, lemon zest and chervil and then season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
4. Preheat the grill to high. If using the scallop shells, place each scallop on an individual shell on a non-stick baking tray. If not, the scallops can be placed directly onto the tray. Top each scallop with a spoonful of the hazelnut and butter mixture.
5. Once the grill is ready, place the scallops underneath for 3-4 minutes then remove and set aside to rest for 1 minute.
6. Meanwhile, make the salad. Whisk the mustard, vinegar and oil together in a bowl. Taste and add salt if necessary, then add in the watercress and pea shoots and toss together to coat and combine.
7. Serve the scallops (either in shells or not) on 2 serving plates with the salad on the side.

• Our recipe was created by development chef Keri Astill-Frew, who is passionate about watercress, both as an ingredient and for its fantastic health benefits. For more information and recipes, visit www.thewatercresscompany.com or www.watercress.co.uk

Image: © Lara Jane Thorpe

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