You have to try this 15-minute, restaurant-quality meal!
Our pan seared scallops with peas and mint is the restaurant style seafood dish you need to try. Since scallops’ flavor is similar to lobster and crab, it’s no wonder they seem to always have a place in fine dining. These bite sized nuggets of succulence are also extremely easy to eat, which makes them the perfect meal for a quiet night at home. Paired with peas, mint, and shallots in a very light butter sauce, this could quickly become a seasonal favorite.
How To Choose Scallops
Scallops look a lot like clams, in that they are bivalves in a shell. They are rich in B-12, which keeps cell walls strong. To that end, B-12 guards against diseases like colon cancer. Also, scallops are high in both potassium and magnesium, promoting a well functioning cardiovascular system. All seafood is high in Omega-3’s, helping to prevent cognitive decline.
There are two kinds of scallops: sea scallops and bay scallops. For this seared scallops with peas dish, we chose sea scallops because they are bigger and cook well in a pan. Typically, sea scallops are two to three times larger than bay scallops. Also, the season for buying fresh scallops is late spring through early fall.
Why Peas With This Light Seafood Dish
If you are wondering why we chose green peas for this dish, first consider that peas contain just about every vitamin and mineral we need, yet remain low in calories. Furthermore, peas are high in protein, providing full amounts of satiation. By keeping a bag in your freezer, you can consistently finish off all kinds of entrees with this secret ingredient. Even when added as an afterthought, the bright color of peas enhances any dish.
Because of their size, peas defrost rather quickly and are easy to add at the end of a cook. Due to the fact they cook quickly, the color and texture easily transforms from verdant and fresh to puke green and mushy. So, be mindful.
How To Cook Seared Scallops With Peas
Because of their size and delicate nature, scallops cook up super fast. For this reason, you will prepare the sauce first and then set it aside. This dish only uses a handful of simple ingredients because we didn’t want to overtake the natural sweetness found in scallops. Salt and pepper are all that’s necessary. Shallots are the most mild of onions, and peas add a fresh texture that always satisfies. Finishing with mint at the end elevates the dish to another level.
When you sear the scallops, first season them lightly on one side with salt and pepper. Place them seasoned side down in the pre-heated pan and let them cook uninterrupted for two minutes on high heat. Season the top side while the first side cooks. Then gently flip them, and allow them to cook for just another minute or so. Grab the sauce and pour it over the scallops. Once you’ve plated them, add your finely chopped mint for both garnish and taste.
This seafood dish tastes great over pasta or with bread. If carbs aren’t on the menu, consider spiralled zucchini noodles or a frisee lettuce/herb mix. By varying texture and color in all planned meals, not only will you receive a ton of health benefits, but you also get to experience a variety of flavor.
Seared Scallops With Peas and Mint
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 tablespoons shallots finely minced
- 1 cup green peas
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound sea scallops
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon mint finely cut
- Add one tablespoon of butter to a preheated medium heat pan. Saute shallots under medium heat and do not let them burn. 4-5 minutes. Add peas and set the pan aside.
- Defrost frozen scallops by running cold water over them. Once defrosted (or fresh), pat them dry with a paper towel or two. Season one side with 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper.
- Pour one tablespoon of olive oil in a pre-heated cast iron pan that's wide enough to accommodate the scallops. They each need to have enough room so that none touch. Now place the seasoned side down and cook for 2 minutes. Finish seasoning the other side with 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Make sure not to move the scallops or touch them at all.
- Flip the scallops over with a pair of tongs, and add the buttered shallots and peas to the pan. Let the scallops cook for 1 more minute, basting the scallops with the butter. Remove them quickly from the pan. You can either plate the scallops now or set them aside, depending on how you plan to serve them. Squeeze half a lemon over them and garnish with bits of mint.
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