Scallops with Pea Puree from the Chef at Fairmont, Seattle

When in Seattle, what else should I try if not a dish that combines all the amazing fresh vegetables and seafood indigenous of the Pacific Northwest all in one plate? Seared Scallops with Pea Puree sounded like a perfect dish to remake with Paul Shewchuk, Executive Chef of the Fairmont Olympic in Seattle from 2016. And, as he promised, it will be a recipe that everybody can try at home, because it’s pretty much free from allergens as it’s dairy free, gluten free and paleo.

Also, if you are on the Autoimmune Protocol and have reintroduced peas successfully, this is a great AIP Reintro recipe!

“Here at the Fairmont – he tells me –, 70% of our menu is naturally gluten free and we have been cutting back on our dairy a lot too, as we prefer to use olive oil, which is fresher and much easier to use.”

Chef Paul explains to me that recently they have been going in the direction of lightening things up and moving towards ‘simplicity’, and that automatically brought them in the direction of removing gluten. “Take these Scallops with Pea Puree for example: we substituted the starches in this recipe with a fresh pea puree, we added pickled turnips, marinated mushrooms and some rooftop garnishes, and the recipe is pretty much done!!”

“Wait, you have a rooftop vegetable garden?” I ask all thrilled.

5 minutes later, our elevator’s doors opens on the 15th floor of the Fairmont’s historic building, that was built in downtown Seattle in 1924.

13 wood planters overflowing with vegetables, herbs and edible flowers of all kinds. And right across from them, there’s a full on urban bee farm, with hives teeming with bees that produce delicious fresh honey for the guests of the hotel, who get to enjoy their golden nectar when it’s still warm, unfiltered and unadulterated.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Ambra Torelli with Chef Paul Shewchuk

We pick some fresh dill flowers, violets and baby chard leaves and head back to the kitchen, where Chef Paul fills me in on how he fell in love with cooking.

“Basically, I started cooking because I decided that engineering wasn’t gonna be a good thing for me – he jokes. While I was studying, I used to work in a restaurant, and there I understood that probably I’d be better at creating dishes rather that bridges.”

Chef Paul Shewchuk

After realizing what his true passion was, Paul Shewchuk went to culinary school in Toronto and worked for some Relais and Chateux properties in the area before moving to Vancouver to work in an Italian restaurant and then join the local Fairmont in 2010 as a Sous Chef.

I ask Chef Paul what is the one tip that he would give to the home cook to improve their cooking skills today, and he doesn’t need to think twice about the answer.

Keep it simple. Buy the best products you can find and do the least amount of work to them. Treat each ingredient the way it needs to be treated: a quick sauté, a crack of salt and pepper… and, if you let it speak for itself, 9 times out of 10 times that’s the best thing you can do”.

Scallops with Pea Puree (Dairy & Gluten Free, Paleo, *AIP)

“When you buy something that it’s not of quality – Chef Paul continues –, you have to add things to mask or amplify the flavors. But if you have fresh scallops and some peas that you cook in a couple different ways while keeping it simple, the dish will shine, just like these Scallops with Pea Puree”.

Lessening the amount of items that are involved in a recipe and letting each ingredient speak for itself is Chef Paul’s secret for cooking philosophy, that is definitely reflected in the dish we created for you, whose idea was inspired by what’s currently in season.

Scallops with Pea Puree (Dairy & Gluten Free, Paleo, *AIP)
Ambra Torelli with Chef Paul Shewchuk

We went to the market this morning and the scallops were amazing – he tells me. Also, peas are in seasons, so we grabbed some of that. And I combined that with some of the vegetables on our rooftop garden in a really nice and light way”.

And, as the official taste tester, I can assure you that the combination of scallops with pea puree is absolutely killer, as it’s light and delicate while looking sophisticated and gourmet at the same time.

Also, to make the dish even more delicious, Chef Paul shared with me his recipe to make honey pickled vegetables, so that if you want, you can add some pickled mushrooms and turnips to the dish, just like you see in the photos. And if you don’t have time for that, don’t worry. There’s plenty of flavor in there regardless!

Now, are you ready to cook this dish yourself? Follow the step by step instructions below and don’t let the presentation intimidate you. It’s a lot easier than you think ;)

Scallops with Pea Puree from the Chef at Fairmont, Seattle (Dairy & Gluten Free, Paleo, AIP Reintro)
 
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
For the *Pea Puree: (*AIP Reintro)
  • 1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • ¼ White Onion
  • 1 cup of Water
  • 2 cups *Fresh Peas (*AIP Reintro)
  • Sea Salt, to taste
For the rest of the dish:
  • 4 Cipollini
  • ½ Cucumber
  • 12 Caper Berries (replaceable with regular Capers)
  • ½ cup fresh, raw *Shucked Peas (*AIP Reintro)
  • 1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Lemon Zest of ¼ Lemon, grated
  • Sea Salt, to taste
  • 1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil (to sear the scallops)
  • 4 Scallops
  • 20 Dill Flowers (replaceable with other edible flowers)
  • 16 Violets (replaceable with other edible flowers)
  • 16 small sprigs of Mint
  • 16 small sprigs of Oregano
OPTIONAL:
  • 2 Pickled Turnips
  • 4 Pickled Mushrooms
  • For the Honey Pickled Turnips:
  • 200 ml White Wine Vinegar
  • 100 ml White Wine
  • 100 ml 2 Water
  • 4 tbsp Honey
  • 1 tsp Saffron Powder
  • 5 Baby Turnips (for the scallop dish you’ll only use 2)
For the Honey Pickled Mushrooms:
  • 200 ml white wine vinegar
  • 100 ml white wine
  • 100 ml 2 water
  • 4 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp Saffron Powder
  • 20 King Oyster Mushrooms (for scallop dish you’ll only use 4)
Instructions
For the Pea Puree.
  1. Dice a ¼ onion, heat up the olive oil in a saucepan and let the onion sauté for 10 minutes on low heat until soft and colorless.
  2. Add 1 cup water and pinch of salt to the pan and bring to a boil.
  3. Add 2 cup fresh peas boil 1 minute and transfer directly to a blender.
  4. Blend on high for 1 minute, then pass through a strainer in to a container (preferably metal) sitting in an ice bath to cool very quickly and preserve the green color.
  5. Once cool, season the puree with salt. It should be very thick and stand up on a plate.
  6. You will only use about ½ cup of finished pea puree, but you need to make extra so it can puree in the blender.
For the rest of the dish:
  1. Cut the cipollini in half and sear them in a pan until cut side is charred (this should take about 5 minutes). Let them cool down and separate the rings.
  2. Wash the cucumber, slice it lengthwise using a mandolin, cut out the seeds and then roll up each slice.
  3. Slightly cut the bottoms of the caper berries so they stand upright on the plate.
  4. Toss the raw shucked peas in olive oil with a little salt and lemon zest.
  5. Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat. When it starts to sizzle, sear the scallops for 1 and ½ to 2 minutes on each side.
In the meantime, start assembling the dish:
  1. Put 8 to 10 nickel, dime and quarter size dots of pea puree down the side of the plate alternating them.
  2. Place some of the rolled up cucumbers along the side in a zig zag pattern.
  3. Do the same with the caper berries and the cipollini rings: put 3 of each on the plate spacing them out down the side.
  4. Make sure that you alternate the ingredients and use them to fill in the gaps between them.
  5. Cut the seared scallops in half arrange 2 halves on each plate.
  6. Sprinkle the raw peas to fill in the gaps and then finish the dish by filling in any parts with the picked dill flowers, herbs and violets.
OPTIONAL:
For the Honey Pickled Turnips:
  1. Bring all liquid ingredients to a boil, pour the mixture over the peeled turnips, add 1 tsp of saffron and seal the jar.
  2. Allow the turnips to pickle for 3 to 5 days.
  3. Add ½ a baby turnip cut into quarters to the final dish (half a turnip per plate) and enjoy!
For the Honey Pickled Mushrooms:
  1. Bring all liquid ingredients to a boil, pour the mixture over the peeled turnips, add 1 tsp of saffron and seal the jar.
  2. Grill the mushrooms, put them in a jar and pour the pickling liquid over them, until they are covered for ¾ of their volume. Then cover them completely with olive oil and seal the jar.
  3. Once pickled, add one mushroom cut in small pieces to the scallop dish.
  4. Add 1 pickled mushroom cut into quarters to the final dish (4 mushrooms total) and enjoy!
Scallops with Pea Puree (Dairy & Gluten Free, Paleo, *AIP)

I hope you loved the recipe for these Pacific Northwest Scallops with Pea Puree and if you did, make sure to share it on your Facebook and Pinterest and subscribe to my weekly newsletter so that you can get in touch with me directly!!

Lots of love!
Ambra

Ambra Torelli

Born and raised in Italy, Ambra is a healthy recipe developer, food and travel writer with a passion for healthy living and wellness. She is the founder of 'Little Bites of Beauty" and the author of the cookbooks "Healthy Italian Desserts Made Simple" and "The AIP Italian Cookbook". She shares her daily food & travel adventures on her Instagram @LittleBitesofBeauty

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