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Scallops with Burnt Butter and Sage

There is no doubt this is a decadent dish, but when scallops are in season you will love the simplicity of this idea, which allows the scallops to shine as the hero. Sage and capers are the perfect salty match for this luscious gift from the sea. This is gorgeous served with a pea purée as pictured.

Words and recipes Vanessa Baxter. Photography Todd Eyre

Serves 8

  • 3-5 scallops per person 
  • 200g + 60g butter
  • a handful of fresh sage leaves
  • 4 tbsp capers
  • sea salt and black pepper, to season

Pat the scallops dry with a paper towel.

Heat a heavy-based frying pan, and add the first measure of butter. Allow the butter to melt and start to turn brown. As the butter turns brown, whisk it, and add in the sage leaves. When the sage leaves have wilted, remove the pan from the heat and pour the butter mixture into a dish.

Heat the remaining butter and add the scallops to the pan. Cook for 1 minute and add the capers. Turn the scallops and cook for
1 minute if they are small, or 2 minutes if they are plumper.

Place the scallops onto a plate, and pour over the browned butter and sage, sprinkle with the warm capers, and serve.


Recipes from The Fearless Kitchen cookbook by MasterChef New Zealand finalist and foodie Vanessa Baxter. For more, visit vanessabaxter.co.nz

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