Za’atar Scallops with Peas
How can you possibly lose when you combine buttery scallops, smoky bacon and minty peas? This is the perfect company-worthy dish and it only takes 25 minutes to prepare.
Active time: 25 min
12 large sea scallops (about 1& 1/2 pounds)
1 Tbsp (22 ml) Bad’Az Za’atar blend
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups (500 ml) shelled fresh peas or frozen peas
3 slices bacon thick-cut crosswise into 1/3–inch strips
1 medium shallot, cut crosswise into thin rings
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp (15 ml) olive oil
3 Tbsp (45 ml) mint leaves, coarsely chopped, divided
- Place scallops on a paper towel-lined plate and pat them very dry with additional paper towels. Season both sides with 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper total.
- Bring 1 cup water to a boil, covered, in a small pot. Add peas and 1/2 tsp salt; cook until peas are bright green and tender, about 2 minutes for fresh and 4 minutes for frozen. Drain peas through a strainer set over a bowl; reserve cooking liquid.
- Meanwhile, add bacon to a large skillet and heat over medium-high. Cook bacon, occasionally stirring, until the fat starts to render, about 3 minutes. Add shallot and cook, stirring, until softened and lightly browned and the bacon is crisp, about 3 minutes more. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon and shallot to a small bowl, reserving fat in the skillet. Add 1/2 cup of cooked peas to the bacon mixture.
- Purée lemon juice, 1/8 tsp. salt, 1/8 tsp. pepper, the remaining 1 1/2 cups peas, and 1/2 cup reserved pea cooking liquid in a blender. Add oil and purée until smooth. Add 2 Tbsp of mint leaves and the Bad’Az Za’atar, and purée until just combined, but pieces of mint are still visible. Divide pea purée among 4 plates.
- Heat skillet with reserved fat over high until just barely smoking. Working in batches and adding more oil if necessary, sear scallops until a golden-brown crust has formed and scallop releases from the skillet, about 3 minutes per side. Top pea purée with scallops and bacon-pea mixture, then sprinkle with remaining 1 Tbsp mint.