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This scallops and pea puree recipe makes the most impressive starter, although it’s fairly straight-forward to put together. It combines creamy pea-puree with a hint of wasabi with scallops which are pan-fried with brown butter, garlic and lemon sauce. An amazing flavour sensation! It’s perfect for a dinner party or a fun starter around the holiday times.
Can you make it in advance?
If you are planning on making this for guests but want to minimise the time you spend in the kitchen then the good news is that you can prepare parts of this in advance. Follow the directions for making the pea puree and then transfer to a bowl and place, covered, in the fridge until needed. You can reheat the puree on the hob or even in the microwave (just make sure to stir regularly to avoid any cold spots in the puree).
How do you pan-sear scallops?
A lot of people think that scallops are really difficult to make. While they may look intimidating they are ridiculously simple and you’re guaranteed success if you follow a few simple rules.
Firstly, make sure the scallops are as dry as possible when you add them to the pan. Use some kitchen towel and gently press them all over to remove excess moisture.
When cooking the scallops, make sure the oil is hot enough. This is needed to create that lovely sear on the bottom. When you add them to the pan they should sizzle, if they don’t then the pan wasn’t hot enough.
Finally, once you’ve added them to the pan, gently press them down with a spatula to make sure that the whole surface in contact with the surface of the pan. Then leave them to cook – if you move them around or shake the pan then they won’t sear as well.
Can I use frozen scallops?
You can absolutely use frozen scallops for this recipe, making planning much easier, given that you should eat fresh scallops within a couple of days of buying them. Make sure to fully defrost them before use in the fridge.
You may also see wet or dry varieties of scallops when you buy them. If so, choose dry scallops, which are purer and haven’t had additional liquid added to preserve them.
- Avocado oil – you need an oil with a high smoke point as you need to get the oil nice and hot. Good alternatives are grapeseed oil or canola/rapeseed oil.
- Frozen peas
- Sour cream – you can also use creme fraiche or single/whipping cream instead
- Wasabi paste
- Large scallops – fresh or frozen (and defrosted)
- Garlic clove(s) – finely chopped
- Lemon – zested and juiced
- Parsley – finely chopped
- Stick/immersion blender
How to make it
First bring a small pan of water to the boil. When boiling add the peas, and once the water starts boiling again, time for 4 minutes.
Drain the peas and return to the pan. Add the sour cream, mint and wasabi and use a stick/immersion blender to blitz it into a rough puree. Leave somewhere warm until needed.
Heat a small frying pan over medium-high heat. Rinse the scallops and pat them dry with some kitchen towel. Add to the pan – make sure that it’s hot enough so that they splutter when added. Cook for 4 minutes before turning. Don’t touch the scallops in this time to make sure they get a good sear on the bottom.
When you turn the scallops, add the garlic, lemon zest and butter. Cook for a further 3 minutes until the scallops are just cooked through and still tender, and the butter and garlic has browned.
Spread the puree on a plate and then arrange the scallops on top. Add the lemon juice and parsley to the butter mixture left in the pan and stir everything together. Spoon over the top of the scallops and serve.
If you are looking for other fabulous starter recipes then try this beautiful avocado and smoked salmon with gremolata, or this super-impressive smoked salmon sushi stack.
Products that work well for this recipe:
Russell Hobbs 3-in-1 Blender
Cole & Mason Mezzaluna / Herb Chopper
Cole & Mason Herb Keeper
This scallops and pea puree recipe combines pea puree with a hint of wasabi and a drizzle of brown butter, garlic and lemon sauce. It makes a perfect starter that is sure to impress!
The default recipe serves 1.
- 75g / 2.5oz frozen peas
- 10–12 fresh mint leaves
- 1 tbsp sour cream
- 1/2 tsp wasabi
- 2 tsp avocado oil
- 3 large scallops (around 100g / 3.5oz)
- 1 tsp unsalted butter
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 1/2 lemon, zest
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- few sprigs of parsley, finely chopped
- Bring a small pan of water to the boil. Once boiling add the peas and cook for 4 minutes.
- Drain the peas and return to the saucepan. Add the sour cream, wasabi and mint and stir everything together. Blitz the peas with a stick/immersion blender until you have a rough puree. Cover and place somewhere warm until needed.
- Prepare the scallops by rinsing in cold water. Dry them well with paper towel.
- Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. When hot add the scallops and gently press down with a spatula. Cook, undisturbed, for 4 minutes.
- After 4 minutes turn the scallops and add the butter, lemon zest, and garlic. Cook for a further 3 minutes.
- Remove the scallops from the pan and stir the lemon juice and parsley into the pan. Season to taste.
- Serve the pea puree piled or spread on a plate and then topped with the scallops. Spoon over the garlic butter sauce.
- You can use fresh peas if you prefer. The cooking time remains the same. Unshell before use, and if you are buying them unshelled, you will need 3x the weight.
- Use an oil with a high smoke point as you need to get it nice and hot before searing the scallops. If you don’t have avocado oil then grapeseed or canola (rapeseed) are good alternatives.
- If you are using frozen scallops, then make sure to fully defrost them in the fridge before use.
- Prep Time: 10 mintes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Category: Starter
- Method: Hob
- Cuisine: British
- Serving Size: 1
- Calories: 290
- Fat: 16g
- Carbohydrates: 16g
- Protein: 20g
Keywords: scallops, seafood, starter, appetiser, peas, mint, dinner party