Main Dishes, Scallops, Seafood

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.


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.


1/4 cup capers

1 large fennel bulb washed and sliced

1/4 cup of fresh basil – coarsely chopped

1 cup ricotta

2 large lemons

Olive oil

Sea salt


1 to 1 1/2 pounds of scallops

splash of white wine

2 tbsp 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 a heavy pan, heat some olive oil.  Add the fennel and cook down on high heat for about 5 minutes.  Add the basil and the capers and mix in pan.


Add the peas last and cook for another 2 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 the butter in 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 3 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.



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