Al Brown - Seared Scallops with Creamed Fresh Corn and Ratatouille Salsa

A fresh scallop opened just moments after being gathered from sea floor, unadorned or with just a squeeze of fresh lemon juice is for me, one of the most agreeable tastes I can think of. They are truly a special shellfish and a favorite the world over. Scallops are found around the coast in the sandbanks and mud banks of sheltered bays from the low tide mark out to about 50 meters. The main area’s that produce these delicacies are Tasman Bay, Golden Bay, Malborough Sounds, and also the Coromandel and Northland Coasts.

To take they have to be over 10cm in width across the widest part of the shell and the legal limit recreationally is 50 per person. As usual just because the limit is 50 per person, don’t feel you have to take that many. Along with so many other shellfish, I’m a big believer that recreational quota’s should be halved in many cases. Take enough for a feed, and eat them fresh. This dish celebrates all that is good about summer.             


Step 1: Ratatouille Salsa


-                  Olive Oil ( For sautéing )

1 Cup          Red Onion (Small Dice)

½ Tbl           Garlic (Chopped fine)

1 Cup           Zucchini (Small Dice)

1 Cup           Aubergine (Small Dice)

2                   Roasted Red Capsicum (Peeled, Seeded, - Small Dice)

2 Tbl             Olive Oil

1/3 Cup         Fresh Basil (Chopped Fine)

-                     Sea Salt and Fresh Black Pepper.



Take a skillet or sauté pan and plane on medium heat. Add a little olive oil,  then season and sauté the diced red onion and garlic until golden. Remove and pour into a bowl. Do the same with the zucchini and then follow with the eggplant.

Add the roasted and chopped red capsicum and two tablespoons of olive oil. Toss in the fresh basil , then season with sea salt and fresh black pepper. Cover and leave at room temperature for a few hours, or if serving later than that refrigerate until required.


Step 2: Creamed Fresh Corn


50gm              Butter

½ Cup            Shallots (Rough Chop)

1/3 Cup          White Wine

1 Cup             Cream

3 Cups           Corn Kernels (Freshly Cooked and removed from the Cob)

-                      Sea Salt and Fresh Black Pepper.


In a suitable sized saucepanadd the butter and shallots. Place on low heat and sweat for 20 minutes (no colour) stirring occasionally.

Add the white wine, turn the heat up a little and reduce for 5 minutes before adding the cream. Cook for another 5 minutes then remove from the heat.

Take a wand blender or place in a food processor. Pulse a couple of times to break up some of the corn kernels. You want the creamed corn to still have a slightly chunky texture.

Season with sea salt and pepper to taste, then refrigerate until required.


Step 3: Cooking and Serving


-                          Creamed Corn

60                       Scallops(At room temperature)

-                          Cooking Oil

-                          Butter

-                          Sea Salt and Fresh Black Pepper

-                          Ratatouille Salsa.



Heat up the creamed corn gently in a saucepan over low heat or slowly in a microwave.

For the scallops , place a skillet or sauté pan over high heat. Season and oil the scallops before batch cooking them in your hot pan. Cook no more than 30 seconds per side, and when you turn them add a couple of knobs of butter, just before removing from the pan. Keep warm while you finish the rest.

To serve, spoon a little creamed corn in the centre of each plate then divide out the 10 scallops per serve. Top with a few spoonfuls of the ratatouille salsa, add a pinch of sea salt and a grind of fresh black pepper. Serves six. 

Recipe by Al Brown. Photo by Kieran Scott. 

FoodJohanna McCordRecipe