Eating out at a good restaurant is a pleasure. No thinking, shopping, cooking or cleaning up and you might even come home with an idea or two (or variation thereof) that can be recreated in the home kitchen.
Make the bean puree first as this will take the longest time. Planning ahead is a necessity as the dried cannellini beans should be soaked overnight in the fridge. The cooking the next day will also take a couple of hours but then you’ll have a nice batch of puree that will keep well in the fridge for several days. Apart from its use in this dish the bean puree can also be spread on bread or toast with a thin smear of pesto underneath or topped with blanched broccolini fried off with garlic and olive oil as a tasty accompaniment to meat.
Great with a juicy pinot like 2007 Maude Pinot Noir from Central Otago.
For the white bean puree:
• 250g dried cannellini beans, soaked in plenty of water overnight
• 1 celery stick, chopped into large pieces
• 2 cloves garlic, crushed
• sprig fresh sage
• 2 slices peeled potato
• 2 tbsp olive oil
• 1 tsp salt flakes
• black pepper
• reserved liquid from cooking the beans
• extra sage leaves for garnish
When you are ready to cook the beans drain and rinse. Place in a large saucepan with the celery, garlic, potato and sprig of sage and cover with water. Simmer gently covered for about two hours or until the beans are tender. Drain them, reserving some of the cooking liquid. Discard the celery and sage. Puree the beans with the garlic, potato, salt, pepper and olive oil. Add a tablespoon or two of the cooking liquid to achieve a smooth, slightly fluid puree. Check for seasoning. Use immediately while still warm or refrigerate. To re-warm later, mix with a little olive oil and stock in a non-stick frypan and heat gently.
Fry the extra sage leaves in olive oil until crisp and translucent. Drain on paper towel.
For the scallops and chorizo
• fresh Tasmanian scallops, cleaned of intestinal tract
• chorizo sausage sliced obliquely into 4mm slices
Fry the chorizo slices for a minute on each side in a non-stick frypan. Remove and keep warm. Wipe out the pan with paper towel, add a smear of olive oil and fry the scallops for a minute each side or until nicely coloured without overcooking.
Place the sausage slices in a line on a large platter or individual plates, leaving a gap between each for the puree. Top the chorizo with a scallop. Dollop the warm bean puree between the scallop/chorizo combination. Drizzle the puree with good olive oil and tuck a fried sage leaf into the puree. Serve at once with good bread and glass of pinot noir.