Large, sweet sea scallops marry well with peas and thyme adds a contrasting herbal note.
- 1 Tbsp. dried thyme leaves
- 2 cup shelled English peas (3 pounds unshelled) or frozen peas
- 1 1/2 lb. large dry sea scallops (about 12), tough muscle removed
- 1/2 tsp. salt, divided
- 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper, divided
- 2 cup pea shoots (optional; see Shopping Tip)
- 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp. freshly grated lemon zest
- 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
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.
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 produce in well-stocked supermarkets.