These scrumptious Seared Sea Scallops with Fava Bean Purée comes together in less than 20 minutes, and never fails to impress.
Scallops are one of the easiest and quickest ways to delight your dinner guests. With just a few good tips and tricks, succulent scallops can wow their tastebuds and keep you free from hours in the kitchen.
This simple scallop recipe I’m featuring is from 101 EPIC DISHES: Recipes That Teach You How to Make the Classics Even More Delicious by Jet & Ali Tila.
In 101 EPIC DISHES Jet and Ali have a novel way of approaching cooking – each recipe teaches a key culinary technique similar to something taught in culinary school. This means that if you cook your way through this book, when you’re finished you will have learned 101 new techniques! And you don’t even have to leave your kitchen to do it!
Other features from this easy-to-follow book include some principles for great cooking (such as understanding dry and moist heat cooking), must-have kitchen tools (cooking scale & thermometers to name a few), and knife skills.
I recently heard Jet & Ali speak at Melissa’s Produce. They were animated, charming, and bursting with great stories as well as culinary tips.
“Our goal for this book is to take you deeper in the why of cooking, and to show you how chefs approach recipes and give dishes that little extra something.” – Jet & Ali Tila
Most of their recipes are based on popular or classic dishes — the ones all cooks should have in their repertoire. But what makes each recipe different in this book are the tips, secrets, and the special twist the couple adds. Check out the great tips on scallops below.
Here are a few of the delicious recipes prepared by the Melissa’s Produce team.
Today’s Recipe: Seared Sea Scallops with Fava Bean Purée
A perfectly seared scallop is one of those benchmarks that all cooks strive for. Jet gives us a few tips to help you master these mollusks.
- Buy scallops that are firm and cold. They should bounce back like a firm steak. They should look moist, almost oily, and smell like the beach
- Pat your scallops dry before cooking, because moisture is the enemy of browning.
- Pan selection is also key. Cast iron or steel is best because it retains heat amazingly well; this will cauterize and sear the scallop instead of boiling the moisture out of them, making them tough.
What makes the base for scallops so easy is pre-packaged fava beans from Melissa’s Produce. Look for them in your grocery store.
I used two packages for this recipe. You can make this dish a main or appetizers. I think frozen lima bean or peas would make a good substitute.
Seared Sea Scallops with Fava Bean Puree
This super fast and elegant dish is perfect for a special evening with out all the work.
Fava Bean Puree
- 1 lb 454 g packaged steamed fava beans
- 2 tbsp 30 ml chicken stock
- ¼ cup 60 ml heavy cream, or more as needed
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- 2 tsp 10 ml olive oil
- 8 sea scallops UlO or larger
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Freshly squeezed lemon juice to taste
- 1 tbsp 4 g coarsely chopped Italian parsley
To make the puree, place the peeled and steamed fava beans in a food processor. Add the stock, cream, salt and pepper and process until smooth and creamy, a few pulses at a time, about 1 minute. If not creamy enough, add a tablespoon (15 ml) of cream at a time until smooth. The puree should feel like creamy mashed potatoes. Scrape into a saucepan and warm gently over low heat for about 2 minutes. You can hold it warm until the scallops are ready.
To make the scallops, heat a 12- to 14-inch (30.5 to 35.5 cm) cast-iron skillet over high heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-high and add the olive oil. Pat the scallops dry with a clean paper towel and season with salt and pepper. Carefully place the scallops in the hot skillet. Let them sear, without disturbing them, until browned, 1 to 2 minutes. Turn and cook for about 1 more minute, until warm in the middle. Transfer the scallops to a paper towel-lined plate and let rest. Sprinkle with lemon juice.
Mound about ½ cup (120 g) of fava bean puree onto the centers of 4 plates. Top with 2 scallops each, sprinkle with the parsley and serve immediately.
Chef Tip: Look for scallops that are UlO or larger (the "U" means "under"). So UlO means under 10 per pound (454 g). The lower the U number, the larger the scallop.
I love Jet Tila’s last cookbook “101 Asian Dishes You Need to Cook Before You Die”. Check out his recipe for Szechuan-Style Green Beans and my review here. So I am so excited about his latest book.
101 EPIC DISHES teaches important cooking skills you need to kick your kitchen game up a few notches―all while whipping up some delicious dishes.
I appreciate learning how to upgrade my culinary knowledge, and that is what I love about this book.
…and then, she paused for thought.
wow the scallops look so very succulent! It must have tasted really yummy over that fava bean puree!
Thanks Angie, the key is to buy good quality scallops and pairing it with fava beans was so delicious.
Seared scallops are such a big treat! I adore them. I was sorry to miss this event — looks like it was super fun and even more delicious! 🙂 Your presentation is so pretty. As usual! 🙂 Cheers! ~Valentina
Thanks Valentina. I adore scallops as well! You would love Jet and Ali. They have so many great stories and practical tips for cooking. Hope to see you soon!
I love this post! I can’t believe you can get peeled favas from Melissa’s – Who on Earth Peels Them?! And the dish sounds great. I love the way you bring the recipes alive. Thanks, Cathy.
Thanks Susan, I am so happy Melissa’s Produce does the fava bean peeling for me. I did try it once… never again.
What a perfectly delightful dish ~ and your presentation is spot on, as always!
Thank you so much. I do hope you try this one as it cuts down on your time in the kitchen and gives your diners a delicious meal.
Nanette La Salle
Looks so good! Was it difficult to peel the beans? How do you think they would work if you didn’t peel them? Yes, lazy me. Also I’ve wondered about this substitute (below) for heavy cream (Oh my cholesterol!). What do you think?
Soy Milk and Olive Oil – substitute for heavy cream
For a vegan, dairy-free alternative to heavy cream, try mixing soy milk with olive oil.
Much like the pairing of milk and butter, olive oil adds fat to the soy milk for a flavor and function comparable to heavy cream.
To replicate the flavor and thickness of 1 cup (237 ml) of heavy cream, combine 2/3 cup (159 ml) of soy milk with 1/3 cup (79 ml) of olive oil.
This substitute is best for adding tenderness and taste in cooking and baking, but it should not be used in recipes that require whipping.
I didn’t peel the fava beans, they came that way. I did try to peel them once, and I won’t be doing that again, thanks to Melissa’s Produce doing it for me.
I don’t think I can help your with the soy milk and olive oil as I have quite the aversion to soy. But in theory it sounds good and for the small amount you need for this recipe, I am sure it would work just fine.
Nanette La Salle
Now I’m thinking about a chopped cauliflower version. Very stimulating recipe, “food” for thought. Pun intended. 🙂
Nanette La Salle
I found this list for a heavy cream substitute… Wondering about pureed tofu or white beans. Any guesses?
Butter and milk.
Oil and dairy-free milk.
Full-fat coconut cream.
Brown rice and milk.
Great char on this bucket list scallop dish! GREG
wow Cathy, this is a fabulous dish. I love the combination of flavors and textures in this!
Thanks Mimi, I hope you do try this and love it as much as I do.
Cathy this one is absolutely perfect for summer ! Thank you so much !
I do hope you enjoy this dish as much as I do. Thanks for stopping by!
Can I just crawl into those pictures? Can’t wait to do this at home.
I think you will really like this one Linda!
I absolutely LOVE scallops, but for some reason RARELY make them! I don’t know what that is, but I’ve decided it needs to change after drooling all over my computer looking at yours! And I would have thought I wouldn’t like the fava puree, but after tasting Judy’s a few years ago, I’m so in love with it now! Thanks for the fab recipe and pics!
Thanks Christina. For some reason scallops aren’t on my radar most days either which is so sad because they are so simple and quick to make.
Nanette La Salle
Silly me, I meant to ask… What does UIO mean? I found this…
Also found in: Wikipedia.
UIO Universitetet I Oslo
UIO Universal Input Output
UIO User Mode Input Output
UIO Ungdom I Oppdrag (Youth with a Mission, Norway)
UIO Units in Operation
UIO Universal IO
UIO Unit Information Officer
UIO Unfunded Investment Opportunity
UIO Quito, Ecuador – Marisca (Airport Code)
If you read the recipe notes it explains what U10 means. I hadn’t heard the term before either. Always learning something new. 🙂
David Scott Allen
Cathy – this is a beautiful dish. I have to look for the fava beans – I love them, but have never seen them any other way but in the pod (which is rare here in Tucson). We have one store that carries Melissa’s produce, and I will check there first – but imagine these will be an online purchase! Thanks for commenting on my post – it brought me to your site. Love your story and the wonderful family photos.
Hi David! If you have any Middle Eastern stores or Whole Foods in Tucson they might carry frozen fava beans. The recipe works well with Lima beans or peas.