Seared Sea Scallops with Gingered Pea Purée and Cilantro Gremolata

By • April 12, 2010 • 20 Comments

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Author Notes: At this time of year, whenever I go the market English peas always accompany me home. They are nature's superior answer to fast food, preferably eaten straight from the shell, with no need for cooking. When I do get around to cooking them, a favorite preparation is as an accompaniment to shellfish. The briny sweetness and pearly coral colors of the fish perfectly compliment the sweet, vividly green peas. In this recipe, crispy seared scallops are served on a bed of puréed peas spiced with fresh ginger and topped with cilantro gremolata. It's a beautiful presentation, either as individual amuse-bouches, an appetizer or an entrée. A variation of this recipe even made an appearance at the Bay area Food52 potluck. - TasteFoodTasteFood

Food52 Review: WHO: TasteFood is a seasoned traveler and food blogger living in the Bay Area.
WHAT: A noble destination for your fresh spring peas (but if you use frozen, we won't tell).
HOW: Whiz up your pea puree, sear your scallops, mix up your gremolata, and assemble.
WHY WE LOVE IT: This pea puree is unlike any pea puree we've had; it's punchy, it's gingery, it's exciting. Topped with a couple of perfectly-cooked scallops and a lemony, herbaceous gremolata, you've got a dish that's fit for a dinner party.
The Editors

Serves 8 as an appetizer, 4 as a main course

For the Scallops and Pea Puree

  • 2 cups shelled English peas
  • salt
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • pinch cayenne (optional)
  • 16 large sea scallops, about 1 1/2 pounds
  • Cilantro Gremolata (see below)
  1. Prepare the Pea Purée: Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add 2 teaspoons salt and the peas. Cook until peas are tender. Remove from heat and drain peas, reserving 1 cup cooking liquid.
  2. Combine peas, 1/4 cup reserved water, garlic, ginger, 2 tablespoons olive oil, lemon juice, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper and cayenne in bowl of food processor. Purée until smooth. Add more water as necessary to achieve desired consistency; the purée should not be too thin. Transfer to a bowl and keep warm.
  3. Prepare scallops: Pat scallops dry and sprinkle all over with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add half of the scallops, taking care not to overcrowd in the pan. Cook, turning once, until brown on both sides and just cooked through, about 4 minutes. Transfer to plate and keep warm. Repeat with remaining scallops.
  4. To assemble, spoon pea purée on serving plates. Top with scallops. Sprinkle scallops and purée with gremolata. Drizzle lightly with extra-virgin olive oil. Serve immediately.

For the Cilantro Gremolata

  • 1 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshy ground black pepper
  1. Combine all the ingredients together in a small bowl and mix well.
Jump to Comments (20)

Tags: amuse bouche, dinner party, scallops, Spring

Comments (20) Questions (0)


6 months ago Julia W.

Made this yesterday with frozen petite peas and frozen scallops and loved it! The cayenne pepper and ginger added great flavor.


10 months ago hookmountaingrowers

I liked it. Pea puree was surprisingly spicy because of the raw ginger but I liked it a lot. The recipe made way too much gremolata which I think could have been halved. Used frozen peas since not quite in season and worked just fine.


over 1 year ago rd

Something about this recipe (when I searched "cilantro") said "make this tonight." I subbed seared tofu since I didn't have scallops. Totally unexpected and totally delicious.


almost 2 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Hurrah! Congratulations! I have made this a ton of times and I am always so happy when I do, and now I want it again this week! Such a great recipe!!!


over 3 years ago RecipeAddict

looks awesome.. cannot wait to try it!


almost 5 years ago The Lazy Hostess

I made dinner for my parents tonight to prove to them that some New Yorkers actually cook. I used frozen petite peas instead of English peas so the puree was a brilliant green color. The ginger added a real punch of flavor. I served it alongside lemon risotto with asparagus and a chilled glass of Sauvignon Blanc. Delicious!


almost 5 years ago Jennifer Ann

We had this for dinner last night, and it was delicious! The earthiness of the fresh pea puree was a perfect match for the sweet and briny scallops


almost 5 years ago TasteFood

I am so glad you liked it!


almost 5 years ago monkeymom

Hello TasteFood. The version we had at the potluck was so memorable. I'm looking forward to trying this at home!


almost 5 years ago SaySchwartzAndBeSure

I think we may have to make you an honorary Nova Scotian. Fab!


almost 5 years ago TasteFood

Now that's an honor - thanks!


almost 5 years ago melissav

Eating this right now and it is sooooooooo good. A perfect spring dinner paired with a shaved zucchini salad. I didn't have enough cilantro for the gremolata so I threw in some chives and parsley with the cilantro and used the entire peel of a meyer lemon. The ginger adds a great surprising kick to the pea puree. Great recipe. Thanks!

PS - My husband better hurry up and get home or I might eat his plate too!


almost 5 years ago TasteFood

I am so glad you like it! Chives and parsley sound good, too!


almost 5 years ago Jennifer Ann

Looks lovely, and sounds absolutely delicious!


almost 5 years ago KitchenKim

This sounds like a dish that I would order at a restaurant - in a heartbeat!!!


almost 5 years ago TasteFood

Thank you, everyone, for your nice comments!


almost 5 years ago WinnieAb



almost 5 years ago testkitchenette

That. Is. Beautiful.


almost 5 years ago melissav

This sounds awesome. I can't wait to try it.


almost 5 years ago Oui, Chef

This sounds fabulous, and as always, a great photo. The pea puree and gremolata make me want to sing, but don't worry I won't, I'm a lousy singer.