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Scallops with hazelnut herb butter & pickled cherries

Rosie Birkett

A beautiful summer starter of grilled scallops with golden nuts and piquant cherries

Recipe Meta


20 mins


12 mins






For the pickled cherries

  • 150g white wine vinegar
  • 150ml water
  • 1 star anise
  • 50g caster sugar
  • A sprig of thyme
  • 3 black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 150g cherries, halved, pitted and sliced

For the butter

  • 30g raw shelled hazelnuts
  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 8g chervil
  • 8g tarragon
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp lemon juice

For the scallops

  • 8 scallops, cleaned
  • Rapeseed oil
  • Picked chervil, to garnish


To make the pickled cherries, put the vinegar, water, star anise, peppercorns, sugar and salt in a non-reactive pan with the thyme and bring to the boil, stirring. When the sugar has dissolved add the cherries and simmer for 2 mins. Turn off the heat and pour into a sterilised jar to cool.

To make the herb butter, preheat the oven to 180C. Place the hazelnuts in a roasting tray and roast for 6-8 mins, until they smell nutty. Pour into a clean tea towel and rub them to remove the skins.

Place the nuts in a food processor and blitz lightly to release their oils before adding the butter, herbs, shallot, lemon juice, a large pinch of salt and a grind of pepper. Blitz until you have a green-flecked butter.

Drain a couple of tablespoons of the pickled cherries onto kitchen roll, then chop.

Preheat the grill to high. Brush the scallops on both sides with a little rapeseed oil, and season with salt. Place in their shells or on a roasting tray, and grill for 1-2 mins, until they’re starting to colour. Turn them over and dot with the butter, then return to the grill for 1-2 mins more, until the butter has melted.

Scatter the cherries and picked chervil over the scallops, then serve in the shells. I’d serve some crusty bread alongside for moppage.

Image: Helen Cathcart

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