Sea Scallops with English Peas and Fennel Over Whipped Ricotta

“How about scallops?”, my husband asked as we were standing in the Trader Joe’s in Florham Park.  I shrugged and opted instead for salmon.

Two minutes later I watched as he attempted to stealthily walk up to the cart (he’s 6″1′ so it didn’t work) with the scallops in hand.  “Scallops”, he decided for both of us.  “I had a recipe in mind with salmon that I wanted to try”, I protested, knowing full well he was about to drop some fisherman’s rationale on me, and I hated it.  He’s a know it all with fish, primarily because he actually does know it all.  Truly.  And as much as I like to growl that his meeting with Ernest Hemingway’s long lost great nephew twice removed in the freezer section must have gone unnoticed by me, I always defer to his knowledge because he been a well respected fisherman for a few decades.  I braced myself for his reply.  “Well do one with scallops”, was his answer.


Sea Scallops with English Peas and Fennel Over Whipped Ricotta

This dinner came together with no preparation whatsoever. I usually map test recipes out and sometimes have to go back to the drawing board because I did too much of one thing or not enough of another. This one, I'm proud to say, was a one and done.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 19 minutes
Total Time: 29 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: anoldiebutafoodie, fennel, lemons, new jersey, on the fly, peas, ricotta, sea scallops, trader joes
Servings: 4
Calories: 350kcal



  • ¼ cup capers
  • 1 bulb fennel large
  • ¼ cup fresh basil coarsley chopped
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 2 lemons large
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds scallops
  • 2 tbsps white wine
  • 2 tbsps unsalted butter


  • In a small bowl, add the juice of 1 lemon and 1 cup of ricotta. Season liberally with sea salt and pepper and whisk thoroughly until smooth and set aside. Drizzle with olive oil.
  • In saute pan, heat some olive oil. Add the fennel and cook down on high heat for about five minutes. Add the basil and and caper and mix in the pan
  • Add the peas last and cook for another two minutes. The fennel should still have a bit of crunch. Set the veggies aside and wipe out the pan.
  • Cut the second lemon in either wedges or slices, whichever you prefer. Melt he butter in the pan and add lemons
  • Rinse the scallops and pat dry. Season liberally with pepper and a teeny bit of sea salt. Sear the scallops (about three minutes per side). Add the wine and let simmer for another minute.
  • Add a dollop of the whipped ricotta to each plate and top with vegetables and scallops


Because I was so focused on a new salmon recipe, I didn't have anything in mind for a new scallop recipe.  I enjoyed the challenge of coming up with this on the fly.  I didn't know what I was going to put together until I started working on this.
Hope you like it.


Calories: 350kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 87mg | Sodium: 1636mg | Potassium: 730mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 621IU | Vitamin C: 36mg | Calcium: 187mg | Iron: 2mg
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