All Recipes

Green Ant's Nest

Serves 4
  • Steps
  • Ingredients


  • Preheat oven to 200C.
  • For the Kale Crisps, remove stems from the kale leaves and lay the leaves on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Drizzle with olive oil, season to taste and bake in the pre-heated oven until crisp, about 12 minutes. Remove form oven and set aside to cool until needed.
  • For the Sautéed Brussel Sprouts and Leeks, place pancetta in a large frypan over medium heat. Cook for 8-10 minutes, until the fat renders. Remove the pancetta, drain on kitchen paper until cool and reserve for the Pancetta Crumb. Leave the fat in the frypan to cook the vegetables.
  • Place sprouts and leeks cut side down in the pan of pancetta fat and cook for 8-10 minutes, basting with the fat, until golden and tender. Remove from pan, season with lemon juice and salt to taste. Separate the brussel sprout leaves and reserve 16 large, cup shaped leaves for plating. Set the leeks and brussel sprout leaves aside, keeping warm, until needed.
  • For the Pancetta Crumb, when reserved fried pancetta slices are cold, break up the pancetta into chunks and place in the bowl of a small food processor. Pulse the pancetta until a coarse crumb. Set aside on kitchen paper until needed.
  • For the Creamed Beetroot Leaves, bring a saucepan of water to the boil. Blanch 2 large, whole beetroot leaves then refresh in cold water. Lay a sheet of cling film flat on a clean work surface Pat the blanched beetroot leaves dry and lay side by side on the cling film.
  • Slice the remaining leaves very finely, then place in a frypan with cream, sherry vinegar and seasoning to taste. Cook for 3-4 minutes, until liquid has almost completely evaporated and leaves are soft. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  • Once cool, squeeze out most of the liquid and place the beetroot and cream mixture onto the blanched beetroot leaves. Carefully pull the whole, blanched leaves up and around the filling mixture into a ball shape and firmly pull together. Pinch the leaves together at the top and twist gently to seal. Pull the cling wrap up and around the parcel of greens and twist the top to compress the parcel and tightly form a ball. Place the ball in the freezer to set, but not freeze, until needed.
  • For the Salsa Verde, add ingredients to a blender and process to a thick, coarse paste. Season to taste, transfer to a squeezy bottle and set aside in fridge until needed.
  • For the Minted Pea Purée, bring a medium saucepan of water to the boil. Blanch the mint leaves in the boiling water for a few seconds. Remove and place in a bowl of iced water to refresh.
  • Place the peas in the boiling water and cook for 2 minutes. Strain the peas then refresh in iced water.
  • Blanch the mint leaves in the boiling water for a few seconds, then remove and refresh in the cold water. Drain peas and mint from the cold water and place in a blender with the remaining ingredients. Blend until smooth, season to taste and pass through a sieve. Set aside, keeping warm, until needed.
  • To finish the Creamed Beetroot Leaves, heat a small frypan over medium heat. Add the butter and water and bring to a simmer. Remove the Creamed Beetroot Leaves parcel from the freezer and unwrap. Place the ball into the frypan, seam side down and reduce heat to low. Nappe with the butter mixture in the pan to warm the ball through and make it glossy. Remove from heat and set aside until required.
  • For the Scallops, place a large frypan over high heat. Pat scallops dry on kitchen paper and season with salt to taste. Add the oil and scallops to the hot pan and sear for 25 seconds on each side until golden and almost cooked through with a light crust. Remove from pan and set aside, keeping warm until needed for serving.
  • To serve, place 3 – 4 tablespoons of the warm Minted Pea Purée into the centre of each plate. Place 4 pieces of sautéed leek around the edge of the purée. Add 4 of the reserved large, cup shaped sautéed brussel sprout leaves to each plate, facing upwards, between the pieces of leek. Squeeze a little Salsa Verde into each of the brussel sprout leaf cups.
  • Place 4 Scallops on each plate, around the middle of the purée and leaning on the pieces of leek. Top with a sprinkle of the Pancetta Crumb. Place a warm Creamed Beetroot Leaves parcel in the middle of the purée on each plate. Finish with a squeeze of lemon over the top. Carefully break up the Kale Crisps into large pieces and place several pieces over each dish to fully cover the other elements. Garnish with a few fresh tarragon leaves.

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