Scallops and Sweet Peas. (Ken BurrisEatingWell / May 21, 2013)

Large, sweet sea scallops marry well with peas and thyme adds a contrasting herbal note.

Scallops and Sweet Peas

Makes 4 servings.

Active Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

1 tablespoon dried thyme leaves

2 cups shelled fresh peas (3 pounds unshelled) or frozen peas

1 1/2 pounds large dry sea scallops (about 12), tough muscle removed

1/2 teaspoon salt, divided

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided

2 cups pea shoots (optional; see Tip)

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest

1 tablespoon 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.

Recipe tips and notes:

Shopping Tip: 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 the produce in well-stocked supermarkets.

Recipe Nutrition:

Per serving: 301 calories; 12 g fat (2 g sat, 8 g mono); 56 mg cholesterol; 14 g carbohydrate; 32 g protein; 4 g fiber; 638 mg sodium; 664 mg potassium

Nutrition Bonus: Selenium (56% daily value), Vitamin C (35% dv), Vitamin A (30% dv), Magnesium (29% dv), Potassium (19% dv), Iron (15% dv).

1 Carbohydrate Servings

Exchanges: 1 starch, 4 very lean meat, 2 fat

(EatingWell is a magazine and website devoted to healthy eating as a way of life. Online at http://www.eatingwell.com.)