Spring, finally! We’re days into April and I’m finally feeling confident about packing my hats, gloves and scarves away for good. My favorite part of this time of year – besides sunshine and longer days – are spring vegetables. I can’t get enough of asparagus and zucchini and peas!
How to Make Pea Purée
Peas freeze beautifully, thankfully, so you can enjoy them year round, but fresh spring peas are a delicious treat. This pea puree – topped with a buttery sauté of scallops and shrimp – is a mouthwatering, velvety alternative to traditional steamed or sautéed peas. It makes the most of their naturally sweet flavor, which is the perfect balance to the richness of the seafood.
When you’re making your pea puree, you can use frozen peas straight from the freezer, no need to thaw them. Add a couple minutes to your cooking time to compensate for frozen peas. I love the way a handful of grated parm, a squeeze of lemon juice and a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes work with the peas but pea puree makes for a great canvas so feel free to add your favorite flavors into the mix. Fresh mint, creme fraiche, or goat cheese are also delicious mix-ins so get creative!
Scallops & Shrimp with Pea Puree
My favorite way to enjoy this is to top it with a mountain of sauteed scallops and shrimp. This dish will be a most excellent addition to your spring table, whether for Easter lunch or Mother’s Day brunch.
Season the pea puree to YOUR taste. You an adjust the amounts of red pepper flakes, garlic and cheese to your liking.
Pat scallops completely dry before searing. Any excess water will prevent them from browning.
Cook scallops and shrimp in batches, if necessary. A crowded pan loses heat dramatically, which will keep your seafood from cooking properly.
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley or 1 teaspoon dried parsley
Salt and pepper, to taste
Heat olive oil in large sauté pan over medium high heat. Add peas, garlic, crushed red pepper flakes and a big pinch each of salt and pepper. Cook until peas are heated through, 2-3 minutes for fresh peas, 4-5 minutes for frozen. Add 2 tablespoons water and cover pan, cooking until peas are softened, 3-4 minutes.
Spoon peas into the bowl of a food processor with cheese and lemon juice. Turn processor on and add olive oil, processing until puree is smooth, about a minute. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Sauté Scallops & Shrimp:
Heat butter and oil in large sauté pan over medium high heat. Pat scallops dry. Season scallops generously with salt and pepper. Add half the scallops to the pan. Cook, without moving, until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Flip scallops and cook until browned on the other side, another 1-2 minutes. Remove scallops from pan and set aside. Repeat with remaining scallops.
Return pan to heat and add additional butter or olive oil, if needed. Season shrimp with salt and pepper. Add shrimp and garlic to pan and sauté until shrimp is cooked through, 3-5 minutes. Stir in lemon juice and parsley. Return scallops to pan and toss until evenly coated.
Place pea puree on plate of serving platter. Spoon shrimp and scallops over pea purée and serve.
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