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Woodfired Scallops with Garlic and Parsley

Woodfired Scallops with Garlic and Parsley baked in their shells are a classic. The shells make such a great container and they are easy to prepare in advance. We’ll get them ready on the baking sheet and put them in the fridge. When we’re ready to eat, we’ll get them out of the fridge and put them straight in the hot woodfired oven. They have to be one of the most popular dishes we cook on our woodfired oven courses here at the cooking school.

You’ll have to ask your fishmonger to get you some scallop shells. Consequently once you’ve got the shells, you can wash and re-use them the next time you want to make the dish. Our scallops come from David Walker & Son in Brixham. If you can’t get hold of any, give them a call and they will overnight fresh scallops right to your door. Highely recommended!

Woodfired Scallops with Garlic and Parsley

Shopping for fish. Love the Brixham Banksy!

In our first book, we made these with chilli and mint. Our friend Mitch Tonks does them with white port, garlic and parsley at his restaurant, the Seahorse, in Dartmouth. We’ve also roasted the scallops with red peppers and a thin piece of air dried ham over the top from our trips to Spain. Do try different flavour combinations to find your favourite. As well as all the ingredients adding to the sweetness of the scallops, you’ll get a hint of smoke from the flames.

Woodfired Scallops with Garlic and Parsley – Ingredients

Serves 4-6 as a starter – 2-3 scallops per person

12 scallops in their shells

90g/3oz butter


1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed

1tbsp chopped fresh parsley

2tbsp dried white breadcrumbs

Salt and pepper

2 Mississippi, door off

Woodfired Scallops with Garlic and Parsley – Method

  1. Take the scallops out of the shells. Clean and trim them as necessary to just end up with the scallop and the roe. Wash and dry the bottom round shells. Your fishmonger will probably do this for you but if a friend or you have been diving for the scallops, then you’ll need to sort them out yourselves!
  2. Cut each scallop into 2 discs through the middle. Put 2 discs of scallop and a roe into each shell. Sprinkle over half the breadcrumbs.
  3. Scrunch up some aluminium foil to put in the bottom of a shallow roasting tin. Snuggle the scallop shells into the foil which will stop them wobbling around. You can reuse the foil so don’t think it’s wasteful!

    Woodfired Scallops with Garlic and Parsley

    Put the scallops on scrunched up foil to stop a wobble!

  4. Put the butter in a pan in the oven door to melt with the garlic and parsley.
  5. Spoon the butter over the scallops making sure they are covered with the buttery mixture in order to stop them scorching in the oven.

    Woodfired Scallops with Garlic and Parsley

    Cover the scallops well with the melted butter to prevent scorching

  6. Sprinkle the rest of the breadcrumbs over the top. We drizzle over a little olive oil as well but this is optional.
  7. Put the roasting tin in the oven and bake the scallops for 2-3 minutes until bubbling and golden. Make sure the fire is flaming well so you can grill from above. Add small pieces of kiln-dried kindling to the fire in order to create plenty of flames. You may have to turn the tin round in the oven so they cook evenly.
  8. Serve at once but remember the shells will be very hot. We eat the Woodfired Scallops with Garlic and Parsley with some great home-made bread. Perfect for mopping up all those buttery juices!

    Woodfired Scallops with Garlic and Parsley

    2-3 scallops per person is perfect for a starter

Woodfired Scallops with Garlic and Parsley – Wine Matching

Our friends at Michael Sutton’s Cellar have come up with the perfect white wine to match our Woodfired Scallops with Garlic and Parsley. They’re suggesting a chardonnay which has a lovely creaminess about it resulting from the wine sitting on the lees. This creaminess will go really well with the scallops and the garlicky parsley butter. Enjoy!

Woodfired Scallops with Garlic and Parsley

One of our favourite woodfired fish dishes