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Scallops with Fava Bean Puree

The secret to the nice searing on the scallops is a big and hot pan to cook them in. Be sure to buy dry scallops, not water injected ones which will never brown.

Serves 4


5 pounds fava beans (equals 2 1/2 cups approximately, when shelled)

2 tablespoons Filippo Berio extra virgin olive oil

1 clove garlic, minced

1 pound large dry sea scallops, well dried with paper towels

1 teaspoon hot red pepper paste or red pepper flakes

Salt and pepper to taste

2 tablespoons butter

Zest and juice of two large Meyer lemons plus lemon wedges for garnish

1/4 teaspoon coarse black pepper

2 tablespoons minced fresh tarragon

Lemon wedges for garnish


Shell the fava beans and cook them in salted boiling water for about 3 minutes. Drain, cool and slip off outer skin. Set beans aside.

Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan and cook the garlic until it softens.  Stir in the fava beans and hot pepper paste and cook 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer all but 1/2 cup of the beans to a food processor and puree into a smooth sauce.  This the mixture with a bit of broth or stock if desired.  Transfer to a small saucepan and keep warm. Save the remaining beans as garnish on the platter.

In the same sauté pan melt 1 tablespoon of the butter over high heat.

Salt and pepper the scallops and sear them on both sides. Add the remaining tablespoon of butter, lemon juice, zest and tarragon and toss the scallops. Add salt to taste.

Spread the fava puree on a platter and top with the scallops and garnish with lemon wedges. Sprinkle the remaining fava beans around the platter.

Or single plate the scallops and fava bean puree and whole beans.

This recipe is featured on show 2306 – Give Me Scallops!/Dammi Cappesante!


  1. Ann's avatar


    Nice to here about your traditional recipes in a book. Mario Batali's comment is special. My grandmother was from Bisceglia, near Bari. Your cooking reminds of her. She went to a cooking school in Italy in the early 1900's, would you know any culinary schools in the southern area of Italy back then. She was a fine cook with a light hand.

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