A Sarcastic Appetite

Spring Fever: Scallops and Pea Puree
June 19, 2011, 11:00 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

“I think you have a fever,” my mother announced…over the phone, from 500 miles away. How she knows these things is beyond me, and I wasn’t convinced.

“No way, I’m just congested and worn out,” I replied. “Besides, I told the Ninja I’d cook him dinner tonight.”

“Do you feel lightheaded?” she asked. As a matter of fact, I did, but chalked it up to said congestion. “Do you feel achy?” Well, yes…but surely that was from playing tennis over the weekend?

My digital thermometer (I can’t believe I have one either) thought otherwise: 99.5°. In June.

I had a fever.

And yet, I went ahead and still cooked dinner. I can’t say I ate much of it, but what I did manage to have was very, very good. Three days later, the Ninja was still waxing poetic about the pea puree, groaning inappropriately whenever he had leftovers. If you’re not a scallop kind of person, serve it with chicken paillard.


Scallops with Pea Puree

Adapted from The Essential New York Times Cookbook. Serves 2.


1 clove garlic

1 6 inch sprig of rosemary

1/3 c. good olive oil

4 c. frozen peas, about 10 oz.

lots of salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 Tbsp. cornstarch

6-8 sea scallops (fresh ones smell like the sea), halved into thin disks and any side muscles removed.


About an hour ahead, heat the olive oil in a small saucepan with the sprig of rosemary and the garlic. Let the oil bubble; turn off the heat and let it infuse. (The longer the better, which is why I’d say leave it for an hour, maybe even more.)

In a pot or large saucepan, boil some water and cook the peas – just 30 seconds to a minute, until they are tender but still bright green. Drain and transfer to a food processor. Add the clove of garlic from the oil, and about 1/4 c. of the infused oil (discard the rosemary), lots of salt and pepper. Process until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.

Heat a saute pan with the remaining rosemary oil. Sprinkle the cornstarch on a small plate and season with salt and pepper. Dredge the scallop halves in the cornstarch. Cook about 2 minutes each side, until browned. Serve the scallops over the pea puree, and ignore the Ninja’s inappropriate moaning.



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