Seared scallops served with crisp pancetta slices and a vinaigrette of lentils, carrot, leeks, tomato, thyme, garlic and balsamic vinegar.
Preheat the oven to 180'C.
For the crisp pancetta: place the pancetta slices on a baking sheet. Cover with a second baking sheet to ensure the slices remain flat and then place in the oven and cook for 7 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
For the lentil vinaigrette: rinse the lentils in plenty of cold water until the water runs clear. Place in a saucepan with unsalted water, a lightly crushed clove of garlic, the bay leaves and the thyme. Cook until tender. Drain and allow to cool.
Peel the carrot, cut in half lengthways and finely slice. Finely slice the leek and dice the shallot. Peel and finely dice the remaining two cloves of garlic. Peel and dice the tomatoes. Chop the flat parsley. Slice the spring onions.
Heat some olive oil in a frying pan and add the carrots and the shallots to the pan. Cook over a low heat until the carrots are soft and then add the garlic. Cook for 1 minute and then deglaze the pan with a glass of white wine. Reduce to 1/5 of the original volume, remove from the heat and then add the lentils, balsamic vinegar and the olive oil. Allow to cool and then stir in the tomatoes, spring onions and parsley. Check the seasoning.
For the scallops: season the scallops with a little salt. Add a little sunflower oil to a very hot frying pan and then sear the scallops for 1-2 minutes before turning, reducing the heat and cooking for another 1-2 minutes on the other side. Once cooked, finish with a squeeze of lemon juice and you will be ready to serve.
Serve the scallops on a bed of lentils, top with crisp pancetta and finish the plate with a drizzle of reduced balsamic vinegar.
«If you cannot find thinly sliced pancetta, add smoked bacon cubes to the lentil dressing when cooking the vegetables.»