Grana Padano PDO is a hard and fine-grained cheese from raw cow’s milk.
Italians do not mix cheese and seafood but I will make one exception to the rule with scallops. These work well with the delicate flavour of Grana Padano 9-16 months, here mixed into the crispy breadcrumb coating. Soaking asparagus in iced water will remove their bitterness and give them a lovely crunch. This dish is all about texture, rounded off by the sweetness of the scallop and the zing of the herb dressing.
Using a mandolin or a sharp knife, thinly slice the asparagus and soak in iced water for about an hour.
Prepare the dressing. Pick the parsley and tarragon leaves, discarding the larger tougher stems. Blanch the parsley leaves in boiling water for a few seconds, drain, run under cold water and squeeze dry. Place in a tall jar with the tarragon leaves, Grana Padano, pine kernels, salt and pepper and about 50ml of olive oil. Using a hand held mixer, start blending, slowly adding the rest of the oil, until you get a creamy fluid dressing. Set aside.
Mix the breadcrumbs, Grana Padano, chives and seasoning. Coat the scallops with the breadcrumbs and pan-fry in the olive oil on medium heat for about 3 to 4 minutes on each side until golden and crispy.
Drain the asparagus and dry them on kitchen paper. Spread on a serving plate, drizzle with the dressing then scatter with peas, place the scallops on top and share.
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