Scallops on a bed of passion fruit hollandese and wilted ginger spinach

Once in a while, when we want to enjoy ourselves, yet not go out, we decide to have a slow Friday evening, with a bit more fancy food. We open a bottle of wine and start to prepare a three course dinner, that usually lasts for several hours. Mr No Onion Please is responsible for the main course, as for him the proper main dish consists of a good quality steak 😉 I focus on appetizer and dessert. This is a starter from one of such evenings. I found the recipe in a fantastic book of Gary Rhodes – 365/One year. One book. One simple recipe for every day. It takes a while to prepare, but is really worth it. It was the first time I’ve used passion fruit in combination with seafood and I must say it’s absolutely fabulous, particularly now, in the summer time!

***

PASSION FRUIT HOLLANDAISE

175g butter
3 egg yolks
juice of 1 small lemon
salt
pinch of pepper
3 passion fruits

Melt the butter. Place the egg yolks and lemon juice in a blender and while at maximum speed slowly add the melted butter, continuing to blend until thick and creamy. Season with salt and pepper. Halve the passion fruits, scooping the seeds into a sieve over a bowl. with the back of the spoon press and scrape all of the juices and pulp from the seeds. Add the juice to the hollandaise along with spoonful of the seeds. Put the sauce to one side and keep warm.

***

WILTED GINGER SPINACH

200g young spinach, trimmed
2 tsp fresh grated ginger
(2 shallots finelly chopped)

Fry the ginger (and shallots) in a bit of butter. Throw in the spinach and saute till wilted.

***

SCALLOPS

12 scallops
butter

Fry the scallops on a smoking hot pan for 2 minutes on one side, then turn and cook for further 1 to 1,5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

***

Spinach, parsnip and celeriac soup

I don’t really like spinach soups. But soups WITH spinach, that’s a completely different story, right? One of the things that I love about winter is the abundance of root vegetables. I couldn’t live without those underestimated ugly brutes. Sure you can buy them all year round, but right now they are still in season, so let’s enjoy them as much as we can!  I felt like having some really simple soup that would nicely complement delicate nutty sweetness of my favorite roots – parsnip and celeriac. No extra spices, just basics, sometimes basic things are best. In my fridge I still had a huge bag of spinach that I usually use for salads, but the bag was too big, I mean I can’t eat salad with spinach for whole week. So I decided to blend it in as well. And here it is, extra simple, delicate and smooth spinach, parsnip and celeriac soup. If you don’t have your home-made veggie broth and you don’t like the idea of using even organic one than you can simply substitute it with water + onion. That should do fine.

Ingredients:

400g celeriac
1 big parsnip root
200g fresh spinach leaves
salt & pepper
1-1,2l vegetable broth
almond flakes, roasted

1. Cut celeriac and parsnip in cubes. Saute them for 3-4 min and add the broth. Bring to the boil, decrease the heat and simmer for 15 min.

2. Add spinach, boil till the veggies will be soft. Put salt and pepper to taste and blend it till smooth. Garnish with almond flakes