Irresistible East Coast Summer Scallops

If you are lucky enough to visit (or live) on the East Coast in summer, you’ll know the joy that is fresh sea scallops. The tasty, buttery seafood are a mainstay in chowders and served with pasta, but we love the way these little morsels crisp and caramelize when seared quickly on a hot pan.

Scallops are available in two sizes. Look for sea scallops which are larger than bay scallops for this colourful dish. Be sure and remove the little muscle on the side of the scallop before cooking. In the summer, fresh peas are a flavourful alternative to frozen.

Total Time: 45 minutes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 4 servings

Pea Puree
2 Tbsp butter
2 shallots, minced
1 large clove garlic, minced
2 cups fresh or frozen peas
1 cup low sodium chicken stock
1 ½ tsp finely grated lemon rind
1 Tbsp chopped mint leaves
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper

Candied Tomatoes
1 cup grape tomatoes
2 tsp canola oil
2 tsp liquid honey

12 sea scallops
pinch salt
pinch pepper
1 Tbsp canola oil
1 Tbsp butter

1. Pea Puree: Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook shallots and garlic until softened, about 2 minutes. Add peas and stock; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until peas are tender, 5 to 8 minutes for fresh and 3 to 4 for frozen. Pour into blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Transfer to medium bowl and add lemon rind, mind and salt and pepper; keep warm.
2. Candied Tomatoes: In a bowl, toss tomatoes with honey and oil. Spread on parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake in 400°F oven until tomatoes start to blister, about 15 minutes.
3. Scallops: Sprinkle scallops with salt and pepper (step reordered). Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add scallops to skillet and cook until golden brown, about 1 ½ minutes. Turn, add butter to pan and cook, basting scallops with butter, until golden brown. Remove from heat.
4. Divide pea puree between 4 plates, smearing across plate. Place 3 scallops on top of pea puree on each plate. Top with candied tomatoes around scallops.
5. Serve!