WRITTEN BY CLAIRE CUDAHY
Growing season is in full swing in Northern Nevada, and there is nothing quite like the connection you feel to your home state when you cook a meal made with fresh, seasonal produce pulled right from its dirt.
It’s June, which means beautiful plump peas are in season, so skip the freezer aisle and head straight for your neighborhood farmers’ market to find the good stuff.
Spring and early summer in Northern Nevada is when you’ll find delicious fresh peas at the market
To truly embrace the flavors of the season, try Beaujolais Bistro’s ode to the transition between spring and summer. Chef Bill Gilbert combines delicious, buttery snails with the last bit of foraged morels and fiddleheads and the now-ripe snap peas for a dish best sopped up with a crunchy chunk of freshly baked bread. It’s everything we love about the charming French bistro’s authentic cuisine.
For a light, summery meal, look no further than this recipe for seared scallops with pea purée made by the culinary team at Jimmy’s Restaurant. Located inside The Landing Resort and Spa in South Lake Tahoe, Jimmy’s serves up contemporary Greek and regional California cuisine inside the artfully decorated eatery and bar.
What's your favorite way to enjoy fresh peas in the summer? Visit our Facebook page and share your recipe.
Beaujolais Bistro’s Snails, Morels, Fiddleheads, and Snap Peas
(courtesy of Bill Gilbert, chef/owner, Beaujolais Bistro in Reno. Serves 4)
1 dozen snails
½ pound morels
½ pound fiddleheads
4 ounces snap peas
4 ounces butter
½ cup sake
½ cup dry sherry
4 sprigs thyme
2 branches rosemary
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
2 teaspoons minced shallots
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup cream
Squeeze of lemon, to taste
Bring 6 quarts water to boil. Salt the water. Cook snow peas for 1 minute. Transfer to tray and spread them out to quickly cool.
Add fiddleheads to boiling water and cook for at least 4 minutes or more until very tender (It is important to not undercook fiddleheads for health reasons). Remove fiddleheads from water onto a tray and spread them out to quickly cool.
Sauté snails in 2 ounces butter for a few minutes over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic; continue to cook for a minute or two. Add sake. Let simmer for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, melt 2 ounces butter in saucepan. Add morels. Add sherry and cream. Add herbs. Cook on a high simmer for 10 minutes; add snails and reduce creamy mixture until starting to become velvety smooth. Add cooked fiddleheads and snap peas and heat through. Add a squeeze of lemon and seasoning to taste.
Seared Scallops with Pea Purée
(courtesy of Jimmy’s Restaurant inside The Landing Resort and Spa in South Lake Tahoe. Serves 4)
For Seared Scallops:
3 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1½ pounds sea scallops
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon minced garlic
Juice of 1 lemon
½ cup dry white wine or water, plus more as needed
Cut 2 tablespoons of the butter into pea-sized pieces, put on small plate, and stick in freezer. Heat large skillet over medium-high heat for 3 or 4 minutes. Add remaining 1 tablespoon butter and the olive oil and wait for butter to melt.
Pat scallops dry with paper towels, add them to pan, and sprinkle with salt and pepper; work in batches if necessary to avoid crowding skillet. Cook, turning once, until they are well browned on both sides but not quite cooked through, 2 minutes per side (less if scallops are under 1 inch across; more if they’re over). Transfer scallops to a plate.
Stir in garlic, lemon juice, and wine. Scrape all brown bits off bottom of skillet with spatula. Lower heat to medium and cook until liquid in skillet thickens, 1 or 2 minutes, then whisk in butter you chilled in the freezer, one bit at a time, to make a creamy sauce, adding another tablespoon or two of liquid if necessary.
Return scallops to skillet and add chives. Adjust heat so sauce bubbles gently, and toss to coat scallops with sauce. To serve, transfer scallops to a platter and spoon sauce all over.
For Pea Purée:
2 cups fresh peas
¼ cup room-temperature water
½ avocado (for texture and more color)
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
½ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
Juice of ½ lemon
Shell peas until you have roughly 2 cups. Bring unsalted water to a boil, add peas, and cook 2 to 3 minutes until bright green. Drain peas and place in a blender or food processor with rest of ingredients. Blend until smooth.
Serve on plate with seared scallops. Enjoy!
4104 Lakeshore Blvd.,South Lake Tahoe
Claire Cudahy is a writer based in Zephyr Cove. She reads cookbooks for fun, thinks eating good food is a spiritual experience, and hopes one day to live on a farm where the animals and produce outnumber the people. If she’s not typing away at the computer, she’s probably out hiking in the mountains hoping to stumble across a patch of morels.