The UK’s pre-eminent fish cook serves up a seasonal taste of the sea with mussels cooked in clotted cream and perry, quick gin-cured salmon and sweetcorn and scallop soup
Raw salmon with gin, cucumber and lemon
Prep 15 min
Cook 10-15 min
Grated zest of 1 lemon, plus all the flesh, separated into individual segments
8 tbsp gin
8 tbsp olive oil
400g very fresh salmon fillet, skinned
Sea salt and black pepper
1 small cucumber, cut into small dice
2 gherkins, cut into small dice
Dill or fennel herb, to garnish
Cut the lemon segments into small pieces. Put the gin and oil in a bowl and combine to make a dressing. Slice the salmon as thinly as possible, lay it out on four plates and season with salt. Spoon the dressing equally over the four servings, and scatter the cucumber, gherkin and lemon segments over the top. Finish with black pepper and dill sprigs, and serve immediately.
Sweetcorn soup with scallops and lime dressing
Prep 10 min
Cook 1 hr
Serves 4 as a starter or light lunch
4 corn cobs, husks removed
75g unsalted butter
6 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for cooking
Zest and juice of 1 lime
Sea salt and black pepper
12 fresh scallops, shelled and cleaned, with roes retained if in good condition
4 tsp coriander leaves, chopped
Hold each sweetcorn cob upright and, with a sharp knife, cut downwards to strip off the kernels in long strips, then separate the kernels and set aside.
Heat a drizzle of olive oil and the butter in a large saucepan over a medium heat and add the sweetcorn. Cook for 15-20 minutes, until the corn toasts at the edges, but do not let it catch and burn, so adjust the heat as necessary. Pour in enough water barely to cover the corn, bring to a simmer and leave to cook for about 15 minutes, until the corn is tender.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk the six tablespoons of olive oil with the lime zest and juice.
When the corn is ready, tip it and its cooking liquid into a blender and blitz for three to four minutes, until smooth. Return the soup to the pan – if it seems too thick, loosen with a little water – season to taste and keep warm over a low heat.
Heat a large, nonstick frying pan over a medium heat and add a drizzle of olive oil. Season the scallops with salt and place them one by one into the hot pan, remembering which one you put in first. Sear for two minutes, until golden, then carefully turn over the scallops in the same sequence in which you put them in the pan. Take the pan off the heat and leave the scallops to finish cooking in the residual heat for a couple of minutes while you get ready to serve.
Bring the soup back to a simmer and divide between four warmed bowls. Place three scallops seared side up on top of each bowl and scatter over some chopped coriander. Finish with a drizzle of the lime and olive oil dressing, and serve immediately.
Mussels with sage, perry and clotted cream
Prep 15-20 min
Cook 10 min
Serves 2 as a starter or light lunch
1kg live mussels, washed and bearded
A drizzle of cold-pressed rapeseed oil
2 small white onions, peeled and thinly sliced
8 sage leaves, finely sliced
100g Cornish clotted cream
200ml medium-dry perry
1 pear, peeled, cored and sliced
2 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Discard any mussels with damaged shells, or that are open and refuse to stay shut when pinched back together.
Put a large pan for which you have a tight-fitting lid over a high heat. When hot, add the oil, followed by the onions and saute, stirring frequently, for three minutes, until they begin to singe at the edge. Add the mussels, sage and cream, cover the pot and leave to cook for 30 seconds. Lift up the lid, pour in the perry, re-cover the pot and cook for three minutes. Check to see if all the mussels have opened; if not, replace the lid and cook for 30 seconds more, until all, or most of, the mussels have opened (discard any that do not).
Add the diced pear and parsley to the pot and toss to mix. Divide the mussels between two warmed bowls and pour over the cooking liquor. Serve at once with lots of crusty bread and butter.
• Recipes by Nathan Outlaw, chef/owner of Outlaw’s Fish Kitchen and Outlaw’s New Road, both in Port Isaac, Cornwall. His book British Seafood is published by Quadrille at £14.99. To order a copy for £13.04, go to guardianbookshop.com