Vanilla scallops

Have you ever considered vanilla as a flavouring, not only for desserts, but also for savoury dishes? Its taste is aromatic and refined; in fact, when used in moderation, it can give an elegant and decidedly original twist to pasta dishes or risotto, and even to main courses or fish starters. In this case, our chef had the idea of using vanilla to lightly flavour some scallops. The delicate flavour of the scallops goes perfectly with the delicacy of the vanilla. Learn how to make this recipe with us and make it a staple of your repertoire during holidays or for an elegant dinner party. To make them you need a little Armagnac, but if you don’t have any at home you could also use cognac or brandy, liquors that go well with fish recipes and which and you will also find useful for making delicious seafood linguine.


30 minutes Total time
15 minutes Active time
Serves 4 persons
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Open and clean the scallops. Put the scallops in their upper shell (the deeper and wider one). Place the scallops and their shells in a large frying pan. Put a pinch of salt, a few vanilla seeds, a knob of butter, a sprinkling of pepper and a splash of Armagnac on each scallop. Now wait for the shells to get hot whereupon they act like tiny saucepans in which you cook the scallops. After about 15 minutes they will be ready and the sauce of each scallop will be reduced to just the right consistency. Serve one per person as an unconventional starter!

The recipe calls for the addition of seeds from a vanilla pod; if don’t have one to hand, don’t substitute with those classic vials used for cake-making; use instead a little oil flavoured with vanilla which you can make yourself at home and keep for other occasions. Another piece of advice: always keep a bottle of brandy or cognac at home which will be very handy for making fish or seafood recipes!
In order to allow the scallops to reproduce, in Italy the law prohibits fishing and the sale of scallops when they are smaller than 10 cm in diameter. So, if you find very small scallops in your fishmongers, you should be suspicious!

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