Jean Paul Knight's Scallops with Asparagus and Avocado Salsa

I wasn’t big on scallops until I started cooking them and realized how quick and easy they are to prepare – they have got to be eaten fresh though! This recipe goes with a spicy avocado salsa that is basically an un-mashed guacamole – and everyone loves that don’t they! TIP: Asparagus should be eaten as fresh as possible – once it is picked the sugars it contains start to convert to starch and the fresh sweet flavor deteriorates. No better reason then to grow your own.


24 fat, fresh, juicy scallops (more if you love them)
24 fresh cut asparagus spears
a splash of white wine
knob of butter
olive oil
white pepper – if you have it, otherwise black will do

For the avocado salsa:
2 ripe avocados
3 tomatoes
1 medium red onion
1 lemon
a handful of flat leaf parsley

Serves 4


Make the salsa:
Dice the onion
Roughly chop avocados
Chop tomatoes into medium chunks
Mix together in a bowl, adding the juice and zest of the lemon and folding in gently with a large spoon
Season with salt and pepper and add a splash of Tabasco – up to a teaspoon is good.
Put to one side

Blanch asparagus spears for 1 minute in a large pot of water boiling water. Refresh immediately under a running cold tap.
Chop spears into thumb-length pieces

Put scallops into a bowl and add a glug of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Roll scallops around so they all get coated.
Place a heavy-bottomed frying pan over a high heat
Spread scallops evenly across the bottom of the pan and cook for about 1 ½ minutes until they start to caramelize. Turn and cook for another 30 seconds.

Throw in a splash of white wine and then add asparagus and a knob of butter. Give a quick stir then remove from the heat.
Serve with the avocado salsa and a nice crisp white wine.