It is impossible for me to overstate just how easy this dish is… seriously… top 5 easiest dishes in my arsenal. But look how damn beautiful it is! Doesn’t it look fancy and complicated and serious? Well its not… its simple and sophisticated. In fact, this dish is almost offensively simple… Sometimes when I make this for people I feel like I’m not putting in enough effort.
Considering how simple this recipe is and how few ingredients it requires, this dish has a pretty complex flavor profile. The scallops have a lovely sweet flavor that is amplified by the sweet and earthy pea and mint puree and the salty and crispy prosciutto is the perfect flavor and texture contrast.
As with every dish that depends on a few specific ingredients, please use the best quality ingredient you can find —you will absolutely taste the difference. In this case, the star is the scallop so be careful about the scallops you pick. Here are a few tips:
- Don’t pick pure white scallops —the reason they’re so white is because they were probably packed in a water/chemical solution. First of all…gross! Secondly, those scallops take on a ton of water and lose a ton of flavor. Scallops should be a creamy beige color. Sometimes you’ll see some light pink scallops… those are my favorite—it might totally be in my head but I find those to be the sweetest.
- If you live in a coastal town buying fresh scallops is a great idea. Otherwise, previously flash frozen scallops might be your best bet since they’re usually frozen at the peak of their freshness.
- Ask to smell the scallops before they’re wrapped up at the fish counter. They should smell fresh and clean — like ocean. They absolutely should not have a strong fish odor!
- 8 sea scallops
- 2 cups of frozen peas
- ¾ cups of marscapone cheese
- 10 mint leaves
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 3 slices of prosciutto
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Lay out the prosciutto on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Place in the oven for 10-15 minutes, until crispy.* Once the prosciutto is slightly cooked, break it apart into smaller pieces.
- Remove the scallops from the fridge and pat the dry on both sides using paper towels. Allow them to sit out for 10 minutes to come down to room temperature.
- While the prosciutto is crisping and the scallops are tempering, prepare the puree. Place the frozen peas into a small sauce pan and cover with water. Allow to cook over medium heat for 3-5 minutes until the peas are warmed through. Drain drain the peas and place in a food processor with the mint, marscapone and a very small pinch of salt. Pulse the mixture for about 1 minute until it is smooth, but still has a bit of texture.
- Salt and pepper both sides of the scallops generously. Heat a large pan over high heat and add the oil and butter. When the pan is very hot and the oil mixture is bubbling add the scallops to the pan and allow to cook, without moving them, for 1½ minutes on each side.
- Serve the scallops over the pea puree and topped with the prosciutto.