Marinated Scallops with Avocado and Tomatoes

Queens, the small scallops, are the best to use for this delectable first course. They are meltingly tender, and it is really pointless to cook them. They are much nicer either marinated and eaten cold as here, or simply warmed in a sauce or soup.

In this simple summer dish the scallops are marinated with lemon juice and then served with chopped fresh dill and basil and a lemon vinaigrette, accompanied by sliced avocados and tomatoes. If you can’t find queens, use the larger scallops, but slice them into thirds before adding the marinade.


  • 500 g (1 lb) little scallops, preferably queens, thawed if frozen
  • 125 ml (4 fl oz) lemon juice, preferably freshly squeezed
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Small bunch of fresh dill, chopped fairly finely
  • 2 large avocados
  • Lemon juice for sprinkling
  • 375 g (12 oz) tomatoes, skinned and cut across into thin slices
  • 8–10 fresh basil leaves, cut across into thin strips
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Fresh dill sprigs to garnish (optional)


Put the scallops in a bowl and pour over the lemon juice – it should be enough to cover the scallops. Sprinkle with black pepper. Cover the bowl and leave in the refrigerator for 30 minutes, or a little longer if convenient.

Pour the marinade off the scallops into a jar or jug and add olive oil and seasoning. Shake or whisk to make a vinai-grette dressing. Mix the chopped dill with the scallops.

Shortly before you want to eat cut the avocados in half, remove the stones and peel off the skins carefully. Slice across thinly in half-moon slices. Sprinkle with lemon juice as you slice them to prevent the flesh browning.

Arrange the avocado slices alternately with the tomato slices on a serving dish, overlapping slightly. Spoon the scallops alongside. Sprinkle the basil strips over the avocado and tomato slices and finally spoon the vinaigrette dressing over the whole dish. Garnish with fresh dill, if liked, and serve at once.