These seared scallops with pea purée are the perfect thing to make when you want to impress. With crispy fried Parma ham, tender scallops and delicate pea shoots scatterd with a simple dressing, this sophisticated starter is a restaurant quality dish – and no one will ever know it only took you 20 minutes!
- For the pea puree:
- 300g frozen peas
- 1 shallot, peeled and finely chopped
- 100ml vegetable stock
- 2tbsp freshly chopped mint
- 30g butter
- 1tsp caster sugar
- 2tbsp crème fraiche
- For the scallops:
- 6 slices Parma ham
- Oil, for greasing
- 12 scallops
- Pea shoots, to serve
- 1tbsp virgin olive oil
- Balsamic glaze, to serve (optional)
Place the peas and shallot in a pan with the hot vegetable stock and bring to the boil. Simmer for 4-5 mins or until the vegetables are tender. Remove the pan from the heat and add the mint, butter, sugar and creme fraiche. Puree, using a stick blender or in a food processor, and keep it warm while cooking the scallops.
Heat a griddle-pan and cook the Parma ham on both sides until crisp and transfer it to kitchen towels.
Grease the griddle-pan with a little oil and heat until smoking hot. Pat the scallops dry, using kitchen paper, and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Fry the scallops for 30 seconds to 1 min on each side or until golden and just cooked.
To serve, divide the pea puree among the plates, break the Parma ham into pieces and place on top of the peas, add scallops and scatter over pea shoots. Drizzle with a little olive oil and balsamic glaze, if you like, and serve immediately.
Pea shoots are only in season in the spring. If you can't find them, substitute an equivalent amount of baby spinach.