Seared Scallops with Spring Peas, Tarragon, and Truffle

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Serves 4 | Active time: 35 minutes

Fresh peas are highlighted in this recipe and served two ways: 1) blended into a flavorful, luscious pea and tarragon sauce with a hint of truffle oil and 2) quickly sautéed and left whole and plump, as a foundation for the scallops. Both can be made ahead and gently warmed before serving. 

Sautéed Peas

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 shallot, finely diced
4 cups fresh shucked spring peas
1 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons white pepper
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon white truffle oil

Pea and Tarragon Sauce

2/3 cup water
1/3 cup sauteed peas (from above)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
2 teaspoons white truffle oil
2 tablespoons fresh tarragon

Scallops 

12 extra-large scallops, patted dry, seasoned with salt
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon neutral oil (like safflower)

For garnish:

lemon zest
tarragon
pea flowers

Recipe

In a medium sauce pan or pot, heat oil and butter over medium heat. Add shallot, and saute until golden, about 2–3 minutes. Add fresh peas, salt, pepper, and water. Simmer briefly, until peas turn bright green, about 1–2 minutes. Drizzle with a teaspoon of truffle oil, leave uncovered, and turn heat off, careful to not overcook.

Transfer 1/3 cup cooked peas to a blender, add water, salt, pepper, truffle oil, and tarragon and blend until very smooth. Set aside.

In a heavy-bottom or cast-iron skillet, heat the oil and butter over medium-high heat. When the butter starts to brown, add the scallops and turn the heat to medium. Sear until golden, about 2 minutes, turn over, and sear the other side. The scallops will naturally unstick themselves from the pan when they have developed a good crust. Just give the pan a shake.

When ready to serve, quickly heat up the pea sauce and the peas, just briefly (so they don’t lose their lovely color) and divide the peas among 4 bowls or plates. Top with the scallops, drizzle with warm pea sauce. Garnish with lemon zest, fresh tarragon, and pea flowers. Serve immediately.

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