Shrimp and Scallops with Minted Pea Puree

Adapted from Bon Appetit (April 2011)

 

Nothing says spring quite like peas and mint! This very simple dish is a snap to make. It’s also light. I’d consider using the pea puree as a spread on toasted bread as well!

  • 2 cups frozen peas (see tips)
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves, divided
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled, deveined and tails removed
  • 1 pound large sea scallops
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • Sea salt
  • Lemon halves, for serving
  • Bring a pot of generously salted water to a boil. Add the peas and cook for 2 minutes. Reserve about 1/2 cup of the cooking water, then drain. Set 1/4 cup of the peas aside for garnish, then place the remaining peas in a food processor fitted with the steel chopping blade. Add the Parmesan, 1 tablespoon of the mint leaves, butter, lemon juice, garlic and salt. Process until blended, adding a few tablespoons of the reserved cooking water a little at a time until the desired consistency is reached. Set aside, keeping it covered and warm.
  • Rinse the shrimp and scallops and pat dry. Sprinkle them lightly with kosher salt and black pepper.
  • In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high. When the oil is very hot and starting to shimmer just a bit, add the shrimp and scallops. Brown on one side, about 2 to 3 minutes, then turn and brown on the other side. Remove shrimp just after the last hint of grey has disappeared. Scallops are done when they are just opaque. Remove from the pan immediate.
  • Place the pea puree on a plate. Top with shrimp, scallops, reserved peas, the remaining tablespoon of chopped mint, lemon zest and sea salt to taste. Squeeze the lemon halves over the plates for a final splash of brightness. Serve immediately.
  • Quick Tips
  • 1. As I have confessed previously, I use frozen peas even when fresh peas are in season. It’s just easier that way and they are always perfect. Maybe I’ll get over this one day. Or not. If you want to use fresh peas, you will need about 2 pounds of peas in the pod. Once they’re shelled (have fun with that, by the way), you will need to increase the cooking time to about 4 minutes before draining.
  • 2. I could think of more uses for this lovely pea puree. In addition to using it as a spread, as I indicated above, I would also try mixing it into pasta with some pesto. Mmm.

Preparation time: 20 minute(s)

Cooking time: 5 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 4


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