CUTTLEFISH, SCALLOPS & FENNEL WITH PEA & PROSCIUTTO DRESSING
Serves 4 as a starter or sharing, or 2 as a main course.
2 large cuttlefish; ask your fishmonger to clean, wash and remove the membranes
8 small local scallops
20 ml (¾ fl oz) good-quality olive oil
juice of ½ lemon
1 small hot red or green chilli, seeded and thinly sliced
1 fennel bulb, sliced wafer thin
crusty bread, to serve
Ingredients: Pea & Prosciutto Dressing:
60 ml (2 fl oz/¼ cup) olive oil
2 French shallots, chopped
140 g (5 oz) thin slices prosciutto, torn into strips
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1 small handful flat-leaf (Italian) parsley,
washed and finely chopped
good pinch of sugar
Slice the cuttlefish so it is wafer thin, using a sharp knife (I have to say again, wafer thin – think of small strips of paper, or bank-note thin). Place in a heatproof bowl that will fit over a pot.
Tear the scallops into three or four small pieces and add to the cuttlefish.
To make the dressing, warm the olive oil, shallot and prosciutto in a saucepan over a low heat.
Once starting to brown a little, add the peas, parsley, sugar and 100 ml (3½ fl oz) water and bring to the boil.
Cook for 2–3 minutes, until the peas are tender but not brown, and the liquid has turned into some nice pan juices. Take off the heat.
Bring a pot of water to the boil. Sprinkle the cuttlefish and scallops with salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper.
Add the olive oil and lemon juice, then place the bowl over the boiling pot, making sure the base of the bowl is not in contact with the water.
Using your fingers, keep mixing the seafood around for a minute or two, until the cuttlefish and scallops start to cook, but are still a little raw. Taste, check the seasoning, now take off the heat.
Mix in the chilli and fennel, then add all the dressing.
Pile the salad onto serving dishes and eat warm.
This dish must be served with some crusty bread to mop up the juices on the plate… and I would recommend always having some white wine with it!
N O T E : See the salad dressing family tree on page 232 for more wonderful ways to enjoy the Pea and prosciutto dressing.