Damien Pignolet's salad of grilled scallops, witlof, Roquefort and hazelnuts


"One autumn afternoon while on holiday in Paris, I discovered a tiny restaurant with walls covered in white and blue tiles, a former crèmerie," says Damien Pignolet. "Reading the menu I was entranced by this at first curious-sounding salad. On second thought, it was the perfect balance of sweet, salty and acidic flavours, with the texture of seared scallops contrasted by the slight bitterness of the witlof and married by the toasty hazelnut vinaigrette. I asked the young waiter if there might be a table available for dinner and he obliged with, 'Bien sûr, Monsieur.' At 11pm I returned to enjoy this brilliant salade composée. I brought it back to my then restaurant, Claude's, and then to Bistro Moncur in Sydney. Now I'm at Regatta in Rose Bay and we offer this marvel as a special; it's always well received, I guess because it ticks all the palate boxes."

You'll need

50 gm hazelnuts 600 gm scallops, roe attached, hard white muscle trimmed 1 tbsp vegetable oil 3-4 witlof, trimmed, leaves separated 120 gm Roquefort, broken into pieces and refrigerated again   Hazelnut vinaigrette 60 ml (1/4 cup) vegetable oil 2 tbsp hazelnut oil 1½ tbsp cider vinegar, or to taste (see note)

Method

  • 01
  • Lightly toast hazelnuts in a dry frying pan over medium-high heat (3-4 minutes). Tip into a tea towel and rub off the skins, then coarsely chop.
  • 02
  • For hazelnut vinaigrette, whisk ingredients and finely ground white pepper to taste in a large bowl, adjusting ingredients to create a spike of acidity.
  • 03
  • Heat a frying pan over very high heat. Pat scallops dry with paper towels, brush pan with oil, season scallops and sear in 3 batches, turning once, until a crust forms, keeping the flesh close to raw internally (1 minute each side). As each batch is seared toss in the bowl with vinaigrette.
  • 04
  • Arrange witlof, scallops and Roquefort on plates, sprinkle with hazelnuts, drizzle with vinaigrette, season to taste and serve.

At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people
GT
Signature Collection

Find out more about the Gourmet Traveller Signature Collection by Robert Gordon Australia, including where to buy it in store and online.

Read More
Recipe collections

Looking for fresh dinner ideas? Not sure how to make the most out of seasonal produce? Or do you need to plan the perfect party menu? Our recipe collections have you covered.

See more

At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

Additional Notes

Damien Pignolet likes to use vinaigre de cidre aux algues, échalotes et la fleur de sel (cider vinegar infused with seaweed, shallots and fleur de sel), available at Simon Johnson.

Featured in

Nov 2016

You might also like...

Bodega's pork and octopus salad

recipes

Smoked trout, carrot and beetroot salad

Freekeh, sour cherry and feta salad

recipes

Herb and ginger salad

Santorini salad

recipes

Layered green salad with buttery croutons and French dressing

Como Shambhala's spiced chicken skewers with barley, fruit and nut salad

recipes

conversion tool