Scallops with Raab

For the lentils

  • 4 tbsp lentils
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tsp chopped sage

For the cima di rapa

  • 1.5 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 dried chilli
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 400g cima di rapa, leaves removed from stalks, thick parts of the stalks sliced at the bottom

For the scallops

  • 12-16 scallops, in their shells (or buy the scallops out of their shells and ask your fishmonger for 4 cleaned shells)
  • olive oil

To garnish

  • 2 tsp chopped parsley
  • 2 tsp capers, drained

For the lentils: place the lentils, chopped garlic and sage in a small saucepan with enough water to cover them to twice their depth. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for about 25 minutes or until tender. Drain if necessary and set aside.   Crush the fennel and chilli together in a pestle and mortar or spice grinder. Heat the 1 tablespoon of oil in a large heavy-based frying pan and lightly fry the fennel seeds, chilli and garlic for 1-2 minutes.  Meanwhile, blanch the cima di rapa stalks in a pan of boiling water for 1-2 minutes, then add the leaves and cook for a futher 2 minutes. Once the cima di rapa is cooked, drain and add to the frying pan with the fennel seeds, chilli and garlic. Lightly fry for a few more minutes.  Remove the cima di rapa mixture from the pan and chop finely. Put it back in the pan along with the lentils and heat through with a splash of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

For the scallops: if using scallops in their shells, remove from the shells, trim the scallops and reserve 4 cleaned shells for serving. Rub the scallops with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Heat a large frying pan and fry the scallops for 1-2 minutes on each side until slightly caramelised and just cooked. To serve, pile the cima di rapa into the cleaned scallop shells, spoon over a few lentils and top with the scallops. Garnish with the parsley and capers.

Purple Sprouting Broccoli Salad

  • 1lb purple sprouting broccoli
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 2 Tbs.  olive oil
  • 1 Tbs. lemon juice
  • grated Parmesan cheese
  • salt & pepper

Blanch purple sprouting broccoli in salted boiling water for 30 second to 1 minute.  Refresh immediately in ice water that you have prepared ahead of time.  Slice yellow onion into half moons, saute in olive oil until clear (5 minutes over medium heat).  Remove from heat, add refreshed broccoli, mix, season with salt and pepper.  Add fresh lemon juice, mix in Parmesan and serve.  You can add cooked pasta such as penne or orchiette to make into a main course dish.

Mapo Tofu

  • 2 cakes extra firm tofu
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup dry sherry
  • 2 Tbs vinegar
  • 1 1/2 Tbs grated fresh ginger
  • 3 Tbs tomato paste
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 Tbs sesame oil
  • 3 cloves garlic pressed
  • cayenne pepper to taste
  • 2 cups thinly sliced onion
  • 1 large bunch broccoli in 3 inch spears (or use purple sprouting Broccoli)
  • 4 cups sliced mushrooms (1 lb.)
  • 2 Tbs cornstarch dissolved in 2 Tbs cold water
  • toasted walnuts
  • 3 scallions sliced diagonally

Cut tofu into 1-inch cubes and set aside.  Whisk together soy, sherry, vinegar, ginger, tomato paste, water sesame oil and garlic and cayenne and set aside.

Heat the oil in a large pan or wok.  Sauté onions for 3-4 minutes, stirring often.  Add broccoli and sauté for 3 minutes then add mushrooms and continue sautéing and stirring for 3 minutes.  Pour in the sauce and add tofu.  Lower heat, cover and simmer until the tofu is heated through.  Add the dissolved cornstarch, bring back to a simmer while stirring until the sauce thickens.  Serve on rice garnished with walnuts and scallions.

Serves 4-6.