Do you ever have the late-to-the-party feeling when it comes to food? Everyone, except you, seems to have tried and fallen in love with this or that combo of flavors.
That was my experience with the combination of mint and peas. So many wax rhapsodic about this combo this time of year when the two ingredients are readily available fresh, and everyone wants to transition from winter’s heavy browns to spring’s light greens.
Still, something about the two together seemed discordant to me — the mild, slightly pasty pea with the cool-on-the-tongue fresh mint. When I came across a five-ingredient recipe for Scallops With Green Peas, Mint and Shallots, I decided to see if I could jump on the bandwagon.
The recipe, which comes together in about 30 minutes, calls for blanched peas to be blended with fresh mint to create a sauce for the seared scallops. The original pea-mint sauce preparation called for water. I tried it that way, but wanted something a little richer, so I substituted heavy cream and added just a pinch of nutmeg as well. Either will work. Add between 1/4 to 1/2 cup depending on how thick you want your puree to be.
I used frozen shelled peas, but if you’re fortunate enough to come across freshly harvested peas at a farmers market, snap those up.
It’s true this dish gets a flavor boost from crisped bacon and sauteed shallots, but I’ve found the minty pea puree alone adds a springtime brightness to almost any seared or broiled protein, such as these scallops or chicken or pork.
Try it and see if this little sauce, which comes together in minutes, will stay in your repertoire for years to come.