Scallops are one of the most delicious shellfish. Here they are partnered with a delicate chive sauce and a pilaf of wild and white rice with sweet leeks and carrots.

  • 12-16 shelled scallops
  • 45 ml / 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 50 g / 2 oz / ⅓ cup wild rice
  • 65 g / 2½ oz / 5 tbsp butter
  • 4 carrots, cut into long thin strips
  • 2 leeks, cut into thick, diagonal slices
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 115 g / 4 oz / ⅔ cup long grain rice
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • 200 ml / 7 fl oz / scant 1 cup white wine
  • 450 ml / ¾ pint / scant 2 cups fish stock
  • 60 ml / 4 tbsp double (heavy) cream
  • a little lemon juice
  • 25 ml / 5 tsp chopped fresh chives
  • 30 ml / 2 tbsp fresh chervil sprigs
  • salt and ground black pepper
Choose fresh, rather than frozen, scallops as the frozen ones tend to exude water on cooking. Scallops need only the briefest cooling at high heat, just until they turn opaque and brown on each side, so have the pan very hot. Although some people avoid eating the orange-colored coral, it is delicious, and many people consider it to be the best part.
  1. Lightly season the scallops, brush with 15 ml / 1 tbsp of the olive oil, and set aside.
  2. Cook the wild rice in plenty of boiling water for about 30 minutes until tender, then drain well.
  3. Melt half the butter in a small frying pan and cook the carrots over a low heat for 4-5 minutes. Add the leeks and cook for a further 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and add 30-45 ml / 2-3 tbsp water, then cover and cook for a few minutes more. Uncover and cook until the liquid has reduced. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  4. Melt half the rest of the butter with 15 ml / 1 tbsp of the remaining oil in a heavy pan. Add the onion and cook over a low heat for 3-4 minutes, until softened but not browned.
  5. Add the long grain rice and bay leaf and cook, stirring constantly, until the rice looks translucent and the grains are coated with oil.
  6. Pour in half the wine and half the stock. Season with 2.5 ml / ½ tsp salt and bring to the boil. Stir, then cover and cook very gently for 15 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is cooked and tender.
  7. Reheat the carrots and leeks gently, then stir them into long grain rice with the wild rice. Add seasoning to taste, if necessary.
  8. Meanwhile, pour the remaining wine and stock into a small pan and boil rapidly until reduced by half.
  9. Heat a heavy frying pan over a high heat. Add the remaining butter and oil. Sear the scallops for 1-2 minutes on each side. Set aside and keep warm.
  10. Pour the reduce stock into the pan and heat until bubbling, then add the cream and boil until thickened. Season with lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Stir in the chives and scallops.
  11. Stir the chervil into the rice and pile it on to plates. Arrange the scallops on top and spoon the sauce over the rice.
Seared Scallops with Chive Sauce on Leek and Carrot Rice