Notes: Assembling this dish is easy if you handle the steps in this order: While the tomatoes roast, purée the broth mixture, but for best color, don't heat it until you brown the scallops. As soon as the scallops are cooked, start the wine sauce in the frying pan, then fill the bowls as it cooks.
Sunset JUNE 2001
1. Rinse tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise, and place, cut sides up, in a 9-inch-wide pan. Sprinkle lightly with salt, pepper, and sugar. Finely chop enough of the mint leaves to make 2 tablespoons; mix with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil. Pat mixture onto cut sides of tomatoes. Drizzle evenly with remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil. Bake in a 400° regular or convection oven until browned on top, about 1 hour. (If pan juices begin to blacken, add a few tablespoons water to pan.)
2. Meanwhile, measure 2 cups broth. In a blender or food processor, whirl peas, remaining mint leaves, and as much of the broth as needed to process until very smooth. Pour into a 2- to 3-quart pan and add remainder of the 2 cups broth.
3. Rinse and drain scallops; pat dry. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Set a 10- to 12-inch nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat and add butter; when it's just beginning to turn brown, lay scallops, flat side down, in pan. Cook until well browned, about 2 minutes; turn to brown other sides well, and cook until scallops are opaque but still moist-looking in center (cut to test), 2 to 3 minutes longer. Meanwhile, bring pea-mint broth to a simmer over high heat, about 4 minutes. Transfer scallops equally to wide, shallow soup bowls.
4. Add remaining 1/4 cup broth and the wine to frying pan; turn heat to high and stir often to free browned bits until reduced to about 1/3 cup, 2 to 4 minutes.
5. Set 2 tomato halves on scallops in each bowl, pour hot pea-mint broth equally around scallops. Drizzle wine sauce over tomatoes, and garnish bowls with mint sprigs.
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