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Perfect Springtime starter

A delicious starter for Springtime courtesy of Aaron Johnson-Waters, Executive Chef at the Vox.

Pan seared scallops – roasted pumpkin puree – crispy pancetta shards, beach herbs, micro salad

Serves 2 people


  • 4 large fresh scallops
  • 4 slices of pancetta
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon curry powder
  • Micro herbs for garnish

For the pumpkin puree

  • 400g pumpkin flesh cubed
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

For the herb oil

  • 50g spinach
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt to taste

For the beach herb salad

  • 40g sea asparagus


  • Cut the pumpkin into cubes and place on a tray, season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil
  • Cook until tender, for around 30 minutes, then transfer to a food processor and blend until smooth. Set aside until ready to serve.
  • Preheat your oven to 180°C, place the pancetta slices on the baking tray and cook for eight minutes until crispy.
  • Blend the spinach and the olive oil together with a food blender till smooth, then pass through a chinois and place into a squeezy bottle ready for later.
  • Blanch the sea herbs in boiling water for 20 seconds, then place on a tray ready to garnish.
  • Prepare the scallops by patting them dry with kitchen paper. Season with the mixed salt and curry powder.
  • Heat a frying pan with sunflower oil, then fry the scallops on each side for one minute, or until they’re cooked through. Add a knob of butter to make them crispy and golden, then remove from the pan and rest for two minutes.
  • Serve the scallops on a warm plate, on a bed of the smooth pumpkin puree. Garnish with the crispy pancetta shards, top with sea herbs and drizzle with herb oil. Finally, finish with the micro herbs and enjoy!

"One of my favourite starters I've prepared at the Vox - and one perfect for Spring" Aaron Johnson-Waters


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