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Even though dry peas and lentils are both starchy and filling, I find that I treat them in very different ways. I generally look at lentils as an alternative to meat, using them as the main component of a recipe. Dry peas, on the other hand, tend to take a backseat and offer more of a supporting role to a cast of other ingredients. For example, in my pea & herb stuffed flatbreads you probably wouldn’t consider peas to be the main flavor. (You actually might not even realize they’re in there!)

In this appetizer, I wanted the dry peas to be a more obvious component of the dish. I had noticed a feature on vegetable based sauces in Fine Cooking and thought that a pea sauce might be fun with some seared sea scallops. (I know. Again. I promise this will be the last FC inspired post for a while! But I can’t help it that their magazine is so inspirational!)

This sauce reminded me a lot of pea soup, but it was much creamier than any pea soup I’ve ever had. I really liked the burst of freshness that the mint and ginger provided — it really helped prevent the sauce from having that heavy, muddy taste that dry peas can so often have.

I tried to make an entree out of this recipe, but it just wasn’t filling enough to be satisfying. I would make a great appetizer though!

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Scallops with Minted Pea Sauce Appetizer

Mint and ginger dress up dried peas to make an easy and elegant sauce for seared scallops.

  • 1/2 cup dry green peas
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 3 Tbs chopped fresh mint
  • 1/2 tsp grated ginger
  • salt and pepper
  • 16 sea scallops (about 1 pound)
  • 2 Tbs flour

Add peas and water to a small pot placed over medium heat. Cover and let cook until soft — this should take 30-40 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a small skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the minced shallot and garlic and cook until soft and translucent. Set aside. When peas have softened, remove the pot from the stove. Add the shallot and garlic, mint, ginger, and about half the chicken stock. Puree using an immersion blender (or transfer to a blender or food processor), adding more stock until the sauce reaches your desired consistency. Return to stove and keep warm.

Pat the scallops dry with a paper towel, removing as much moisture as you can — this will help you to get a nice sear on them. Dust them with flour to help absorb any excess water that has remained. Heat a large non-stick skillet over high heat. When the pan is very hot, add the scallops. Cook for 3 minutes, or until the bottom has turned golden brown, trying not to move the scallops around in the pan too much as they cook. Flip the scallops and cook the other side for an additional 2-3 minutes until they are done.

Ladle the sauce onto your serving dish and top with the scallops.

Serves 4.
Approx. 110 calories, 2 grams fat, 2 grams fiber, 11 grams protein

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Through June 15, I will be blogging healthy and unique recipes featuring lentils and dried peas under a sponsorship agreement through the USALentil and Dy Pea Council. I will then be choosing my favorite recipe to be in a contest that will be held atRecipeRivalry.com. Although these posts are sponsored, opinions in them are my own and all recipes are original unless otherwise noted.