From time to time a box of live scallops in their shells appears at the fish markets and it is always exciting to see. You can source saucer scallops from the warmer waters of Australia, such as Hervey Bay and Shark Bay. They are easy to recognise as they have a flat shell, but they do not possess the colourful roe of the Tasmanian variety. Either type of scallop can be used, but the saucer scallop will cook faster.
Remove the scallops from their shells and clean them to remove the grit bag. Clean the shells and set aside. Set the scallops on a tray lined with paper towels to drain any moisture and refrigerate until needed.
Finely chop four of the pancetta slices and cut the remaining pancetta into strips about 2 cm wide. Set aside until needed.
Heat half of the butter in a frying pan over low heat. Add the leek, season with salt and pepper, and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the leek is tender. Add the chopped pancetta to the pan and continue cooking for 5 minutes, or until cooked. Remove from the heat.
Put the remaining butter in a small bowl, add the herbs and a touch of salt and pepper and stir well to combine.
Preheat the oven to 240ºC.
Lay half of the cleaned scallop shells on a baking tray. Place a spoonful of the leek mixture in the base of each shell, and top with a scallop. Arrange the pancetta strips over the top and spoon over a little herb butter to finish. Roast the scallops in the oven for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, toss the rocket with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Serve the scallops in the shell with the rocket and a lemon cheek on the side for squeezing.
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