Scallops are normally a sure-fire match for chardonnay so it was quite a challenge to think of some alternatives for Skye Gyngell’s inventive recipes in the Independent on Sunday today.
Scallops and clams with purple basil, white wine and chilli
Skye highlights the key ingredients in the title of this recipe - in many ways it’s like a slightly Asiany fish soup - fishy, hot and herby. I’d go for a minerally young Loire Sauvignon Blanc like a Pouilly-Fumé or even a good quality Muscadet sur lie.
Grilled scallops with roasted sweet potato, tomatoes and salsa verde
A much richer dish with which you could happily drink a red not least because it’s substantial enough to be a main course. Skye has created her own balance between the sweet, caramelised notes of the dish and the pungent salsa verde so I don’t think I’d want anything with too much obvious sweet fruit. A mid-weight Chianti Classico maybe or a Cabernet Franc.
Scallops with white polenta and chilli oil
Another unusual treatment this time with lemon flavoured white polenta and a drizzle of chilli flavoured oil. Back to white, I think and one of my food-friendly fall-backs - a Spanish Albariño or a crisp young Chablis.
Scallops with radicchio, shallots and grated egg
Possibly the trickiest dish of all. The cooked scallops are placed on bitter treviso leaves with a topping of raw shallots with quite a vinegary dressing and chopped egg. You could serve a wine (one of those earthy Italian whites like a Verdicchio would probably cope) but I think I’d go for a beer like a good quality Pilsner or Kolsch.