Spring peas will be popping up in stores very shortly, so take advantage of how perfect and fresh these little babies are with a gorgeous curry infused pea puree topped with crispy seared scallops tossed in a warm Indian spice blend. Or….make this all year with the help of a bag of frozen peas….almost as good and super easy. (And, the flavorful blend is so rich and tasty, you can actually hide extra nutrients by blending in cooked cauliflower or broccoli…you will never know it is there. We did this for a cocktail party the other night, with individual scallops on a bed of puree, or make a perfect appetizer with a delicious scoop of puree and two or three scallops each.
Seared Scallops on Pea and Cauliflower Puree
3 cups vegetable stock, or water
16 ounces fresh or frozen peas
1/2 head of cauliflower, chopped
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs – mint, parsley or cilantro…or all three
2 tablespoons non-fat Greek yogurt
1/2 cup low-fat milk or whatever kind of milk or cream you like
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon low-fat cream cheese
Salt and pepper
10-20 bay or diver scallops, depending on the season and your taste….we used a little of both to make bites that would fit on a spoon
1 tablespoon Garam Masala
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil, or other high heat oil like Canola or Avocado
1 lemon or lime, cut in half
Pat the scallops dry. Season the scallops liberally with salt and pepper and dust with the Garam Masala. Keep cold until ready to sear. Add the stock or 3 cups of water to a soup pot and bring to a boil. Add 2 tablespoons of salt and then toss in the cauliflower. Cook until just soft, then add the peas, and cook until all is very soft. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup liquid on the side, and add back to the pot. Add the spices, herbs, cream cheese, butter and yogurt with the milk. Using an immersion blender blend until very smooth. Season with salt and pepper and either chill to very cold or keep warm to serve (both are delicious).
When the puree is cooked and either chilling or staying warm heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the scallops and sear until very crispy on one side, then flip. Cook for about 7 minutes total, depending on size, until the scallops are cooked through and the outside is very crisp. Adjust any final seasonings. Add the puree to either individual portions or plate on a large platter then top each serving with one or two scallops, or add to the top of the puree on the platter. Squeeze half a lemon or lime over the top to add a bright hit of acid to the dish and serve immediately.