Perfect scallops with mint and pea puree
Vibrant green, juicy scallops and a refreshing taste. That is what this delicious appetizer of scallops with a mint and pea puree will bring you. It’s super easy to make and look at those colors!
I’ve had my share of really bad scallops so time to take matters into my own hands. They are either too chewy and bland or too raw in the middle. Both are not exactly the best when you’re entertaining and want to serve the perfect scallops.
Scallops with mint and pea puree
Christmas time can be quite stressful. You browse cookbook after cookbook, endlessly roam the internet searching for that perfect easy Christmas appetizer to serve your guests. Do you go for super easy (but slightly boring) soup? Or should you stick to some old favorites that you know work? Scallops can be somewhat daunting as it’s easy to overcook them and no greater sin that overcooked scallops.
You want them still slightly translucent in the middle but definitely not raw. The key here is to cook them hard and fast. I love scallops with that toasty outside and succulent and delicious inside. The combination with the mint and puree is a classic but so delicious!
Preparing the perfect scallops
First important rule is the seasoning. I use simply salt and pepper to season the scallops before they go into the pan. But you can add different seasoning to choice. Then make sure the pan is hot before you add the scallops. Not too hot, you don’t want them to turn black before your eyes. But let’s say between medium and high. Hot enough to turn brown quickly.
You add a good bit of butter to the pan and once the butter is melted add the lemon juice and the paprika. That will flavor the scallops even more. Wait for the foam to disappear and then add the scallops in. Leave them in for about two minutes each side or until golden. If you feel the texture in the pan they should be firm but still giving. Too soft will mean that they’re not done yet, but if you’re unsure of how long you need them to cook test it with one of the scallops. Better to sacrifice one to make sure you get the timing right.
You want to serve the scallops with the mint and pea puree immediately after baking. So make sure the puree is ready to go as soon as the scallops are cooked.
So there you have it; the easiest way to prepare delicious and fabulous scallops, served on a bed of mint and pea puree that will not only make your family happy but will make you the star of the Christmas kitchen this year!
Scallops on a bed of mint and pea puree
- 2 cups frozen peas
- 2 tbsp fresh mint coarsely chopped
- 1 clove garlic chopped
- 1/4 tsp salt
- freshly ground pepper
- 3 tbsp butter
- 1 tsp lemon juice freshly squeezed
- 1/4 tsp ground paprika
- 12 scallops large
- Fill a small saucepan with a couple of inches of water. Bring to a boil, add the peas and cook until tender, about 3-5 minutes for fresh peas, about 1 minute for frozen peas. Place the peas in a blender and add the mint, garlic, salt and pepper to taste. Blend until smooth. Place the pea puree in the saucepan to keep warm.
- In a medium heavy saute pan (preferably cast iron) heat the butter over medium-high heat. Add the lemon juice and paprika. When the butter begins to foam, add the scallops. Cook for 2 minutes per side or until just cooked through and each side is golden to amber brown on top.
- Spoon the pea puree into two shallow soup dishes, creating a bed, then place the seared scallops on top and serve.
The nutritional values above are calculated per portion. The details are based on standard nutritional tables and do not constitute a professional nutritional advice.