Smoked Scallops with Wild Garlic Butter

I've just given this recipe to my local paper as one of my Masterchef recipes from the 1/4 final.

If you can't get dived scallops then try this with some monkfish or mackerel as both have strong flavours that the smoker will not overpower. Please don't use dredged scallops as the damage caused by dredging is horrendous to see. Farmed scallops are ok but be careful of the amount of water added to frozen ones.

Make wild garlic puree from early wild garlic shoots or flowers, the flowers give the best flavour, the season is March to June. Harvest sustainably from a spray free location and do not take more than one leaf or flower head from any plant or you may damage the plant. Wild garlic freezes really well as a puree so harvest some in season and freeze. Only a dot of the puree is needed per scallop.

Smoking can be done in a pan with some foil over the wood chippings then place the scallops on a rack so they don't make direct contact with the base, put a lid on the pan to keep the smoke contained. There are very good commercial products available to use if you like the flavours and want to do more smoking. One to two minutes is all that is needed to infuse the scallop with smoke flavour as hot smoking is very intense, then place in a moderate oven for 3-5 minutes to bake, bake in the shell which will bring out lovely salty, sea aromas from the baked shell (don't put the shells in the smoker or they go black).

  • Six Hand Dived Scallops
  • 200g Butter
  • 1 tsp Wild Garlic puree
  • Flat leaf parsley

Lightly smoke Scallops, then bake in the shell for a few minutes till firm to touch
Bring Butter to foaming hot, add a little wild garlic, pour immediately over scallops.
Serve hot with parsley.


  1. We have some garlic flowers left over, after having used the leaves to make 1. tomato and wild garlic pasta sauce and 2. potato and wild garlic soup... do you need more ingredients for the wild garlic puree other than the heads?

  2. the puree can be just flowers, if you need something to bind it then add a little sunflower oil (sunflower adds little to no flavour)