Seared Scallops with Smoked Carrot Purée, Salsa Verde and Serrano Crisps

by Leah Halmagyi


  • 300g carrots, peeled and chopped
  • ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt flakes and freshly-milled white pepper
  • 2 Tbsp woodchips
  • 4 slices Serrano ham
  • 1 bunch parsley leaves
  • 1 bunch mint leaves
  • ½ bunch thyme leaves
  • 3 tsp baby capers
  • 4 anchovy fillets
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • ½ tsp chilli flakes
  • Finely-grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 12 large scallops, roe off
  • Cooking oil spray
  • 2 small figs, quartered
  • Micro herbs, to garnish


1 Preheat oven to 200°C. Steam the carrot until tender, then purée with ¼ cup olive oil until very smooth. Season with salt and white pepper then spread on an entrée plate. Put a small bowl in the centre and place the woodchips inside. Light, then once burning place a large bowl over the top and set aside for 20 minutes.
2 Arrange the Serrano slices on a lined oven tray and place a second tray on top. Bake for 10 minutes, until crisp, then set aside to cool.
3 Combine the parsley, mint, thyme, capers, anchovies, garlic, chilli, zest, juice and remaining oil in a blender and purée. Season with salt and pepper.
4 Sprinkle the scallops with cooking oil spray then sear in a hot non-stick frying pan for 1 minute each side, until lightly-golden. Spread the carrot purée on plates, then top with scallops, Serrano, figs, salsa verde and herbs.