Queen scallops with bacon and wild garlic

Serves 6-8

When I was a kid, the local boats in West Bay used to come into the harbour piled high with queenies and the mother of my old schoolmate Mark Hawker used to send us queenies in little plastic tubs to munch on at breaktime.

We now buy our queenies direct from the Isle of Wight and, since taking part in the Queenie Festival on the Isle of Man last year with Mitch Tonks, we have both enjoyed the luxury of freshly delivered queenies on our menus ever since. They are so fresh that I put them on the menu raw for the first day, served with a tangy dressing.

I've added wild garlic leaves to this, wilted in a little butter and served on the plate with the queens. For this recipe I also sprinkled over a mixture of simple green herbs and breadcrumbs just before grilling.

20 or so fresh queen scallops cleaned and in the half shel
A couple of good knobs of butter
4 rashers of smoked, rindless streaky bacon, finely chopped
A handful of wild or hedgerow garlic, chopped (or you could use garlic chives instead)
A handful of herby breadcrumbs

Preheat the grill to maximum temperature, place the scallops on a tray; cook for a couple of minutes. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small frying pan and cook the bacon for a minute or so; then stir in the hedgerow garlic. Spoon the mixture over the queenies; serve.

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