These are fairly easy to cook, but it is important to get all of your components prepped in advance.
Peel the celeriac and cut into 2cm cubes. Put the celeriac, milk, cream, bay leaf, thyme and nutmeg into a pan and cook on a medium heat with the lid on until the celeriac is soft. Remove from the heat, take out the herbs and blend the celeriac with a little of the liquor in batches until all the celeriac is used up. You should have a puree consistency - adjust with the liquor accordingly. Add salt and pepper to taste and set aside.
Wash the scallops and place in between two pieces of kitchen paper to absorb any excess water.
Place one rasher of bacon on top of the other and finely dice. Add to a hot frying pan without oil and toss for a minute or so until just cooked. Remove and place on some kitchen towel, set aside.
Cut the butter into cubes and set aside.
Cut the lemon in half.
Sort through the seashore vegetables and pick out any woody stalks and set aside.
When you are ready to cook the dish, it will take 2 mins, so have all your components by the stove. Put the puree in a pan and gently heat through. Season both sides of the scallops well. Have the eight scallop shells ready.
Put a large frying pan on a medium heat until just before smoking, add the oil and scallops.
Whilst the scallops are on, place one dessert spoon of the celeriac puree into each shell.
After one minute or when the underside of the scallops have browned turn the scallops over.
Add the bacon.
After 30 seconds add the butter and lemon juice (this will brown a little, this is fine).
When the butter has melted add the seashore vegetables and toss a little. Turn the heat off.
Place one scallop on top of the celeriac puree, followed by a spoon of the brown butter with bacon and finally the seashore vegetables.
As long as the scallops are removed from the shells straight away and stored in an airtight container in the fridge, they will keep for ten days.
You can make the puree, prep the bacon days in advance.
You can try this with a number of different puree’s. Jerusalem artichoke, pea or cauliflower for example.
Scallops are generally at their best between July and September, this is (weather depending) the time before the scallops spawn, therefore producing wonderfully plump corals.