Spring into summer with this bright but classy dish from Sherborne’s The Dining Room. They are old school…
There’s been a dining room in this building in Sherborne since 1743, when Lord Digby founded a school for the “education and clothing of poor girls”. It’s fair to say that the food served in The Dining Room today is far from the school dinners that must have been dished up then though. Since opening in October they have been attracting considerable acclaim for tantalising, traditional British food which, as they put it, has “a respectful nod to the past and an eager fork in the fresh ideas of contemporary dining.” Great British food needs great local ingredients of course and they stay deliciously relevant with a menu that changes with the seasons and makes excellent use of Dorset (and South West) produce from Dorset beef and pork to the Lyme Bay scallops in this dish.
Also to be found in Lord Digby’s former school, which is just a stone’s throw from Sherborne Abbey, is The Britannia Inn Hotel. Its six bed and breakfast rooms, real ales, fine wines, whiskey and brandy could be the perfect end to three sumptuous courses from the a la carte menu next door. Lord Digby would surely approve.
2 bunches of asparagus
50ml vegetable stock
2 tablespoons honey
100ml white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon tomato purée
1 punnet of cherry tomatoes
400ml cold press rapeseed oil
Add the honey, white wine vinegar, tomato purée and tomatoes to a jug and blend with a hand blender until smooth. Add the rapeseed oil slowly to emulsify. Finally pass through a sieve to remove tomato skins and seeds.
Take the asparagus and find the natural break point towards the bottom of the stem, snap and discard. Trim the tips off and peel stems. Blanch stems in the vegetable stock until tender, then purée in a food processor. Blanch tips for around 2 mins on a simmer.
Using a hot frying pan with a little rapeseed oil, place the scallops around the edge of the pan, season with a little sea salt and fry for around one minute a side until the scallops are slightly caramelised. Remove from pan.
Take three teaspoons of purée and arrange on plate, rest the scallops on each spoonful of purée. Scatter the asparagus tips around the plate. Drizzle the vinaigrette over and around the plate. Garnish with micro herbs or chives and parsley.
Head Chef Jason More. His food is, we’re sorry in advance, very More-ish…
The Dining Room
Westbury, Sherborne, DT9 3EH