Lemon, Garlic and Chilli Butter Scallops (with an optional Pea Purée)
These lemon, garlic and chilli butter scallops are delicate, tender and full of flavour. Served alongside creamy pea purée, this makes the perfect starter dish. It requires minimal ingredients and comes together in under 30 minutes!
Scallops are undoubtedly my favourite seafood dish and I love cooking them at home when I get the chance. This isn’t often, as good quality scallops are not always easy to find and they are a little on the pricey side but when I am able to get hold of some, they go down a treat! They’re a perfect dish to serve for when you have company!
Tips for cooking the scallops
Ensure the scallops are dry before cooking. Wet scallops will prevent them from searing. I recommend patting the scallops dry with a paper towel and then allowing them to get to room temperature, which should take around 20-30 minutes.
Season one side of the scallops with salt and pepper and then the other side whilst they are cooking in the pan. For this recipe, I used smoked salt to give the scallops a very subtle smokey flavour but of course, any coarse salt will work great.
Preheat your pan to a high heat. Do not place the scallops in the pan until it’s hot. If you place them in the pan and don’t hear a sizzle, it's not hot enough.
For this recipe, I used a stainless steel pan but cast iron and non-stick also work great.
Tips for making the pea purée
It’s currently pea season here in the U.K. (this runs from May through to November) so using fresh peas may give you a fresher and tastier end result. It just means it’ll take you a little longer to make! I used frozen garden peas and the purée turned out delicious.
Wines to accompany this dish
Generally, smooth white wines pair best with scallops and most seafood dishes. These lemon, garlic and chilli butter scallops are seared, which enhances their natural sweetness. Paired with the subtle flavours of the pea purée, the following wines make great accompaniments to this dish:
Old vine Chenin Blanc
A white Burgundy wine with oak
Alsace Pinot Gris
Lemon, garlic and chilli butter scallops with pea purée
Serves: 4 (3 scallops each)
Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes
For the scallops:
12 sea scallops, roes on or off
Pepper, freshly ground
2 tbsp organic extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
4 sprigs parsley, finely chopped (reserve some for garnish)
Zest of half a lemon
Juice of half a lemon
For the pea purée:
1 small white onion, finely chopped
½ tbsp organic extra virgin olive oil
200g fresh or frozen garden peas
100ml almond milk, or any other plant based milk
1. Let’s begin by making the pea purée. Heat a pan with oil and once hot, add in the onion. Sweat over a medium heat until soft (not coloured), and then add in the garden peas, salt and almond milk. Simmer for 7-8 minutes.
2. Drain off the milk into a jug and transfer the peas into a blender or food processor. Blitz until completely smooth, adding in the milk a little at a time until you have a perfect consistency. It should be nice and thick. Remove from the blender immediately and leave to cool.
3. Heat pan over medium heat. Once hot, add in the olive oil, followed by the scallops, seasoned side down. Season again with a little salt and pepper. Cook until seared and golden brown on one side (around 2-3 minutes). Turn scallops over and immediately add butter, garlic, chilli, parsley, lemon zest and lemon juice. Sautee for 20-30 seconds and then spoon over the scallops continuously. After 1 minute, remove from the heat.
4. Spoon the pea purée into a bowl or plate. Add the scallops on top and pour over the remaining garlic, lemon and chilli butter sauce. Garnish with a little parsley and serve immediately.
I hope you love this recipe!