Now that we’ve (barely) survived another Daylight Savings Time and the first day of Spring is just a few short days away- I’ve been playing around with some of my favorite seasonal flavors/ingredients in the kitchen these past few days to get myself into a sunnier, warmer state of mind- especially since we’ve been getting surprise snowstorms out of the blue in recent weeks!
I’ve talked at length about how I absolutely love fresh peas and mint this time of year- like last March where I shared a super simple and very filling instant pot recipe. The one I’ve prepared today also has bursts of those flavors, of course- but adds tender scallops and crispy bacon for more texture and as a surefire way to satisfy pretty much any craving.
It’s a fantastic Springtime brunch/lunch dish to deserve to yourself or friends/guests- and is just as delicious as it is colorful on the plate!
WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
- 2½ cups fresh or frozen green peas
- ¼ cup fresh mint leaves
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 strips bacon, chopped into ½-inch pieces
- 1 large shallot, minced
- 1½ pounds large sea scallops, patted dry and foot muscle removed
- Flaky sea salt (optional, for serving)
WHAT YOU’LL DO:
1. In a large pot of salted boiling water, blanch the peas until bright green and soft, about 3 minutes. Reserve ½ cup of the peas and transfer the rest to a blender. Blend, drizzling in ¼ to ½ cup of water to reach a creamy consistency. Add the mint leaves, a large pinch of salt, and a pinch of black pepper and blend until smooth. Set aside but keep warm.
2. In a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon until the fat is rendered, 4 to 6 minutes. Remove and pour out all but 1 tablespoon of fat, reserving the remaining fat and setting aside. Add the shallot and sauté for about 30 seconds. Add the reserved peas and bacon. Cook for about 30 seconds more, then remove but keep warm.
3. In the same pan, warm 2 tablespoons of the reserved fat over high heat until just barely smoking, then add the scallops, and cook for about 2 minutes on each side.
4. Serve the scallops with the pea puree, a sprinkle of the bacon mixture and flaky sea salt if desired.
I love bacon, and I love scallops- so combining them with hints of mint and serving them on top of freshly pureed peas made for a delicious meal that filled me up, but not so much that I felt weighed down afterwards- which is one of my favorite things about Spring dishes! I can enjoy them and then work them off in lovelier weather outdoors afterwards!