Alright, so not the best photo…but, what’s a guy to do when he’s cooking dinner at a friend’s house and doesn’t really feel like lugging his big camera over to snap a picture? I have to remind myself that it’s ok to resort to some iPhonetography once and awhile. I mean, after all, it’s the taste that matters, not the picture that I spend ten minutes taking while dinner gets cold!
After getting back into town from my worldly adventures, I had a lot of catching up to do with my friends. This past weekend, I made dinner with my friend Trina. Neither of us have had scallops for quite some time, so we decided to cook some up. The pea and jalapeño purée has a nice bit of heat, which I topped with some sautéed scallions and radishes, scallops and finished it all with a couple dollops of olive tapenade to cut the richness.
This is great recipe that plates well and is full of colour, which is perfect now that spring is officially here (although, as I type this, it is snowing).
What you’ll need…
1 yellow onion (finely chopped)
3 cloves garlic (halved)
2 cups green peas (thawed)
1 jalapeño (seeds removed, loosely chopped)
1/2 cup half and half
2 TSP cane sugar
1 TSP paprika
1/2 cup fresh basil
salt and pepper
1/3 cup kalamata olives (pitted)
1/4 cup capers
1/4 cup fresh parsley
1 TBSP olive oil
2 TSP lemon juice
1 TSP ground black pepper
Scallops and Vegetables:
1 TBSP butter
1 1/2 cups radishes (trimmed and halved)
1 bunch scallions (trimmed, loosely chopped)
salt and pepper
1 TBSP grapeseed oil
Start things off by cooking down the chopped onion and garlic with a little olive oil in a medium pot on medium-high heat. Next, add the green peas and chopped jalapeño to the pot and continue to cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Now, pour in the cream, along with sugar and paprika.
Once the mixture starts to bubble, reduce to medium heat and let simmer, uncovered, for another 5 minutes. Finally, toss in fresh basil and using an immersion blender or food processor, pureé the mixture until silky smooth. Return to pot, give a light seasoning with salt and pepper and keep warm on the stove.
Now for the tapenade…just place all ingredients in a food processor or blender and purée until smooth. Since the olives are so salty, you won’t need any additional salt. Scoop into a small bowl and set aside until you’re ready to plate.
Next, melt butter down in a medium pan on medium-high heat. Add the radishes and scallions to pan and toss a few times to coat. Let vegetables cook until the radishes become translucent and tender, about 6-8 minutes. Remove from heat and cover.
Last, but not least, pat scallops dry and season on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat grapeseed oil on high heat in a large pan. Carefully place the seasoned scallops into the hot pan and sear on each side until caramelized and crisp, approximately 1 minute per side.
To plate, spoon some of the warm pea and jalapeño purée into the centre of each plate, top with sautéed vegetables, then 3 scallops and a tiny dollop of tapenade on top of each.
Dan Clapson is a food writer and culinary instructor based out of Calgary. He is constantly creating new recipes and striving to expand his culinary horizons. He thinks yam fries are overrated.