What's for Dinner: Dunmore East Fresh Scallop Tartlets

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Dunmore East Fresh Scallop Tartlets

I know, scallops can be pricey. But a little goes a long way in this easy, elegant seafood dish from Irish chef Kevin Dundon, who has cooked for Queen Elizabeth II and some of the U.K.'s biggest celebrities, such as rock star Bono.

Look for scallops that are a uniform pearly-white color with firm, slightly moist flesh -- they shouldn't be either completely dry or sopping wet. Before cooking, rinse under cool water and pat dry with a paper towel, being sure to remove the side muscle if still attached. Scallops get tough and chewy when they're overcooked, so keep an eye on the time! In addition to your St. Patrick's Day celebration, this is a perfect dish for Friday nights during Lent.

1 sheet 12-by-8-inch puff pastry, thawed

Egg wash, made with 1 egg beaten with 1 teaspoon milk

8 fresh sea scallops

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for greasing

1 teaspoon finely shredded fresh tarragon leaves

1 tablespoon sea salt

1 tablespoon ground black pepper

7 ounces mixed baby greens tossed with the juice of 1 lemon, for serving

Lemon wedges, for serving

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a baking sheet.

Roll out puff pastry and, using a 4-inch biscuit/cookie cutter, cut out four large circles. Place them on prepared sheet and brush with the egg wash.

Slice the scallops into disks that are about 1/2 inch thick. Place them on the pastry circles so that they are slightly overlapping, drizzle with a little olive oil, sprinkle with tarragon and season with salt and black pepper.

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until pastry is golden brown and the scallops are just cooked. Remove from oven, drizzle with a little more olive oil and serve immediately with lemon-dressed lettuce and lemon wedges.

Serves 4.

-- "Kevin Dundon's Modern Irish Food" by Kevin Dundon (Mitchell Beazley, Oct. 2013, $24.99)

Gretchen McKay: gmckay@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1419 or on Twitter @gtmckay.

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