This dish was inspired by travels to the north of Italy a few years back where they used the local large lemons (also famously used for limoncello) that were preserved and served up sliced with grilled scallops and frisee as a salad. 






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Here’s my version including some Japanese flavours that give the salad some added layers of flavour.


  • 1 yellow grapefruit
  • 1 red grapefruit
  • 2 baby fennel bulbs, core removed, fennel fronds reserved
  • squeeze of lemon juice
  • 80 g unsalted butter
  • 8-12 baby leeks, trimmed
  • salt and black pepper
  • olive oil, for pan - frying
  • 12 scallops, roe removed, pat dried
  • red shiso micro herbs, to serve

Pickled pink radish

  • 125 ml (½ cup) rice vinegar
  • ¾ tsp fine salt
  • 1½ tbsp caster sugar
  • 4-6 small pink radishes, trimmed

Miso and grapefruit dressing

  • 1 tbsp white (shiro) miso
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) reserved grapefruit juice
  • ½ tsp wasabi paste
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 80 ml (⅓ cup) grapeseed oil

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


  1. For the pickled pink radish, place the vinegar, salt, sugar and 185 ml (¾ cup) water in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Using a mandolin, thinly slice the radishes so that the slices are almost translucent. Once the pickling liquid has come to the boil, add the radishes and turn off the heat. Stand for 15 minutes, then drain and set aside to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, using a sharp knife, peel the grapefruits, cutting as close to the fruit as possible to remove the white pith. Working over a bowl to collect the juices, segment the grapefruits, then squeeze any excess juice from the fruit into the bowl. Strain the segments and remove any seeds. You’ll need about 1 cup. Reserve the juice to use in the dressing.
  3. For the miso and grapefruit dressing, using a stick blender, blitz all the ingredients except for the grapeseed oil until well combined. With the motor running, slowly pour in the oil in a thin stream until the dressing has emulsified and thickened. Season with salt and refrigerate until required.
  4. Using a mandolin or large sharp knife, shave the fennel into thin slices and allow to soak in iced water with some lemon juice to keep it crisp until ready to serve. Just before mixing the salad, drain the fennel and pat dry with paper towel.
  5. Place 60 g butter in a heavy–based frying pan over medium heat. When melted, add the leeks and cook for about 5 minutes, turning every minute as well as tossing the butter over the leeks. Season to taste, then remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
  6. Heat a separate heavy-based frying pan over high heat and add enough olive to just coat the base. Once very hot, add the scallops and cook for 90 seconds or until golden. Add the remaining 20 g of butter and turn the scallops over. Cook for another 30 seconds, tossing the melted butter and olive oil over the scallops constantly. Season with salt and remove from the pan.
  7. Toss the shaved fennel with enough of the miso and grapefruit dressing to just coat, then place on a large serving plate. Top with the grapefruit segments, sautéed baby leeks and pickled radish slices. Add the seared scallops over the top and drizzle with some remaining dressing. Garnish with the red shiso leaves and fennel fronds and serve immediately.


Adam Liaw cooks, laughs, and explores culture with some of Australia's most beloved in The Cook Up With Adam Liaw.

Photography by Danielle Abou Karam.