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Scallops with Chorizo and Fennel

Hidden gems that even some of the locals don't know about! 


Well we're back to the crazy season that is the Edinburgh Festival. The city is heaving, fit to bust her gusset and I'm wondering what I can offer you as a means of escape of jugglers, street performers and fly tippers (that's what I call the young lads 'n' lasses who thrust scraps of paper into our sweaty mitts as we trundle down the Mile). Locals and visitors alike, we all need an oasis of calm amid the manic madness, so may I suggest you stroll down the wynds and closes that lead off the Mile. Grab some food for a picnic; one of my favourite places is Edinburgh Larder, 15, Blackfriars St., they have a lip-licking T/A menu. Meandering towards Holyrood Palace you will come to Cannongate Kirk nearing the bottom of the Royal Mile and just beyond that is the small yet perfectly formed Dunbar's Close Gardens. Now if you have a car or good walking legs, trundle to the other side of Arthur's Seat, you'll end up in Duddingston, and Dr Neil's Garden. Both, hopefully, will offer you a haven of serenity, but shhhh ... don't tell everyone!


Scallops with Chorizo and Fennel
3 scallops per person preferably in the shell and cleaned (get fishmonger to do that for you or watch a YouTube vid)
Fresh chorizo mild or spicy, your choice
Spring onions, chopped
Splash of sherry
Fennel fronds (bronze if you can find it)
What Next 
Heat a frying or sauté pan. Throw in chorizo and smooch up with a wooden spoon into pieces the size of a 5p.  Cook until slightly bronzed (about 5 mins).
Chuck in the spring onions and cook until soft. Remove meat and onions from the pan with a Holy Joe (a slotted spoon, and I have no idea where that expression came from but that's what we call it in our abode!). Keep warm
Remove coral from scallops if you want; pop into the chorizo juices, quickly sauté the wee beasties no more than a minute each side. 
Slide the cooked stuff back in pan, wait for it all to sizzle and splash in some sherry. 
Once hissing and spitting subsides, put scallops onto shells and dress with the chorizo, garnishing with snipped fennel. 
Serve with artisan bread.
 
What else is in my basket?
French beans, kohlrabi, sweetcorn, damsons, greengages, loganberries, rabbit, wood pigeon, hare, grey mullet, langoustine, wild sea bass. 
www.edinburgh.gov.uk/directory_record/164072/dunbars_close_garden
www.drneilsgarden.co.uk/
Lea writes http://OfftheEatenTrack.wordpress.com and is @BakersBunny on Twitter and Instagram

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