Scallops with cranberry bacon jam make for a stunning and delicious appetizer. Perfect for holiday entertaining or any excuse!

Yield: 8 servings

Prep time: 10 min

Cook time: 50 min

Scallops with cranberry bacon jam make for a stunning and delicious appetizer. Perfect for holiday entertaining or any excuse!


For the cranberry jam:

  • 8 oz smoked bacon (225g, streaky bacon)
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 clove garlic, large
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 1 Tbsp molasses
  • 1/2 cup cranberries (45g, fresh or frozen defrosted)
  • a few grinds of pepper

For the zucchini cakes:

  • 5 oz zucchini (145g, approx - 1 small)
  • 4 Tbsp parmesan (35g, finely grated)
  • 2 tsp flour
  • 1 Tbsp egg white
  • a couple grinds of pepper
  • 8 scallops


  1. Slice the bacon and fry in a small/medium skillet over a medium-high heat until the fat is starting to render, stirring regularly, around 10 minutes.
  2. Finely chop the onion and garlic and add to the pan. Cook, stirring regularly until the onions have softened and gone translucent and the bacon is crisping, another roughly 10 minutes.
  3. Add the sugar, vinegar, water, molasses, cranberries and pepper and stir in well. Once it boils, reduce to a simmer and allow to cook for around 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it is nicely sticky.
  4. Remove from heat and allow to cool around 15-20 minutes before pulsing a few times in a food processor to break up the chunks but leaving some texture.This can all be done in advance.
  5. While the jam is cooling or when ready to cook and serve, finely grate the zucchini and squeeze out the excess liquid with your hands. Mix it with the grated parmesan the flour, egg white and a little pepper. Take tablespoonfuls of the mixture and roll each into a flattened ball - you should get 8.
  6. Heat a thin layer of olive oil in a skillet/frying pan over a medium-high heat and cook the zucchini cakes for around 5 minutes on each side until browned. Take care turning them, they may well stick and are delicate. Remove from the pan onto paper towel to remove any excess oil.
  7. In the same pan after or alongside in another pan, heat a little butter and fry the scallops around 3 minutes each side until gently brown (may be more, depending on thickness/heat of pan). Try to only turn them over once to get a nice caramelized sear on them.
  8. Stack the scallops on the zucchini cakes and top with a little spoonful of cranberry bacon jam and serve.


  1. Note the zucchini cakes quantity matches with the scallops but there's lots of bacon jam left over to use another time or for other things, or just make more zucchini cakes and scallops if you have a larger group. Nutritional estimate based on using ¼ of bacon jam.