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Recipe: Scallops and Sweet Peas

Large, sweet sea scallops marry well with peas, and thyme adds a contrasting herbal note.

Ingredients:

Pesto – 
1 Tablespoon dried thyme leaves
2 Cups shelled fresh peas (3 pounds unshelled) or frozen peas
1 1/2 Pounds large dry sea scallops (about 12), tough muscle removed
1/2 Teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 Teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
2 Cups pea shoots (optional; see Tip)
3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 Teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
1 Tablespoon lemon juice

Directions:

Working over a small bowl, rub thyme leaves between your palms until finely powdered. Place a large steamer basket in a Dutch oven; add water to just below the steamer bottom. Add peas to the steamer; top with scallops in a single layer, touching each other as little as possible. Sprinkle with the powdered thyme, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

Cover the pot and place over high heat. When steam begins to escape, start timing. Steam for 3 minutes. Add pea shoots (if using), cover and continue steaming until the scallops are just cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes more. Remove from the heat.

Meanwhile, whisk oil, lemon zest, lemon juice and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl until combined. Spoon the scallops, peas and pea shoots (if using) onto a serving platter, drizzle with the dressing and serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.

Shopping tip:

Pea shoots, sometimes called “pea tendrils” or “pea sprouts,” are the tender vines and leaves of pea plants. Sweet in flavor, with a delicate crisp texture, they can be found in the spring at farmers’ markets, Asian markets and some supermarkets. They’re best used immediately, but can be refrigerated for up to 2 days. Or use small sprouted pea plants (they resemble large, straight alfalfa sprouts), labeled “pea shoot” or “pea sprout,” found with the produce in well-stocked supermarkets.

Nutrition information (per serving):

Calories: 301
Fat: 12 g (2 g sat, 8 g mono)
Cholesterol: 56 mg
Carbohydrate: 14 g Protein: 32 g
Fiber: 4 g
Sodium: 638 mg Potassium: 664 mg

Nutrition bonus:

Selenium (56% daily value),
Vitamin c (35% dv),
Vitamin a (30% dv),
Magnesium (29% dv),
Potassium (19% dv),
Iron (15% dv)

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