Nigella’s Christmas Feast: Scallops on the shell 

Nigella’s Christmas Feast: Scallops on the shell

I can’t quite believe how simple yet luscious these are. I prefer to get my scallops from the fishmonger for this, which is just as well as I don’t think I could ever get a supermarket to supply me with shells. You don’t need to take the corals off, but I like to turn this into two meals, and fry up the corals the next day with some butter and garlic oil, and eat them squished on to chunky bread or toast, spritzed with lemon juice and carpeted with parsley.


6 scallop shells

18 scallops or 24 if very small (roes or corals removed)

100g fresh breadcrumbs

6 tsp butter

1 lime (for squeezing)

1½ tsp garlic infused olive oil

salt and pepper

  • Preheat the oven to 250C/230C fan/gas 9 (you need a really hot oven). Rinse and dry the scallop shells and arrange them on a baking sheet.
  • Put the scallops in a bowl and sprinkle the breadcrumbs over them. Toss them around to get each one well coated in crumbs.
  • Put three breaded scallops into each shell and sprinkle with any leftover breadcrumbs that remain in the bottom of the bowl.
  • Add 1 tsp of butter on top of each scallop-filled shell, a squirt of lime juice, ¼ tsp of garlic oil, and salt and pepper to taste.
  • Put the scallops in the oven for 15 minutes (5-10 minutes if using the small scallops) – you really want the breadcrumbs to be crispy and the butter turning black around the edges of the shell.