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Scallops with Orange, Basil and Caper Dressing

Dress up the humble grilled scallop with a fresh orange, basil and caper dressing. Ideal as a snack for guests to enjoy as a starter at your next summer BBQ.


A simple grilled scallop with a fresh, zesty dressing, I think these make a lovely decadent bar snack to eat before you get on and cook the main event. To make it super-speedy you can get the dressing ready a few hours ahead, but don’t add the basil until you are ready to serve, as it will discolour and loose its vibrancy.

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12 half-shell scallops, cleaned and prepped (page 220 of Scorched)
olive oil, to drizzle
For the dressing:
100ml (3½fl oz/scant ½ cup) extra virgin olive oil
zest and juice of 1 large orange
2 garlic cloves, crushed to a paste
50g (2oz) capers, drained
a good handful (about 30g/1oz) basil leaves
flaked sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


Begin with the dressing. Mix the olive oil, orange zest and juice, garlic and capers in a small bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. If you are cooking immediately, stir through the basil. If not, chill the dressing the fridge and add the basil just before cooking the scallops.

Fire up the barbecue ready for direct grilling. Scallops grill fast so you won’t need too much fuel, depending on what else you are going on to cook.

Rest the empty scallop shells on the grill bars over the fire, or nestle directly in the embers, and leave to get hot for a few minutes. Test how hot they are by flicking a few drops of water onto them; the water should sizzle and evaporate almost instantly.

When the shells are hot, drizzle just a little olive oil over the scallops and season with salt and pepper, tossing gently to coat. Quickly drop a scallop into each hot shell and let it sear for a minute or so until lightly golden. Use small tongs or a fork to turn each scallop over and cook for another minute or so on the other side.

Once cooked, spread out over a platter and spoon a little dressing over the top. Serve immediately.

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