A seafood starter with grapefruit and avocado from resident demo chef Hayden Groves
6 large scallops
1 ripe avocado (I prefer hass for a puree)
Fine sea salt
Squeeze of lime juice
1 small pink grapefruit
100ml vegetable oil
1 tbsp wild rice
1 tbsp olive oil
50g creme fraiche
Micro coriander leaves (optional)
Shuck the scallops carefully (you can ask your fishmonger to do this stage for you) discard the membrane, carefully remove the roes and reserve them for another dish. Wash the scallops carefully in ice cold water and place on absorbent kitchen towel in the fridge.
Peel and remove the stone from the avocado, blend until very smooth with fine sea salt and a squeeze of lime juice to taste.
Peel the pink grapefruit with a knife, removing all the pith and segment carefully between the membranes. Do this over a bowl to collect any juice. Once all the segments have been removed, squeeze the pith to save all the precious juice. Cut the segments into pieces 1cm wide and reserve in the juice.
Pour the vegetable oil into a small pan to a depth of 2cm and carefully heat to 220C. Have a sieve sitting over another pan of a similar size to hand. Add the wild rice to the oil, give the pan a gentle shake and the rice will puff up (like an elongated rice crispie) in about 12-15 secs. Carefully pour the hot oil into the sieve to catch the puffed rice, drain the grains on kitchen towel and season with a pinch of fine sea salt while still warm.
Slice the scallops into 3mm slices with a very sharp knife, cover a plate with 1 tbsp of the pink grapefruit juice and a pinch of fine sea salt, lay the slices on top, spoon over another tbsp of grapefruit juice and a pinch of salt, leave to stand for 1 min.
To assemble the dish: spread a spoonful of avocado puree across 4 plates, scatter over some pink grapefruit pieces and divide the scallop slices between the four plates. Add some tiny spoonfuls of creme fraiche, a drizzle of olive oil, then microplane over some lime zest, season with a pinch of sea salt flakes and a twist of pepper and finally finish with a scattering of the puffed wild rice and coriander leaves if you are using them.
ALTERNATIVE: You can add some fine slivers of green or red chilli to add a touch of heat and, if you like, some finely diced shallot or red onion.
Recipe: Hayden Groves