Seared Scallops Over Lemon Risotto

Scallops are one of my favorite special occasion meals.  For one thing, if you get quality scallops, they’re pretty hard to mess up (just don’t over cook them!).  And, if you have a bit of patience, you can whip up a simple lemon parsley risotto, and the combined result is pretty impressive.  So, when one of my closest girl friends decided to pay me a visit and requested a seafood dinner, I knew what I wanted to make.  Bonus, scallops occasionally go on sale, which they happened to do on the weekend my friend was visiting. Don’t get me wrong, they’re still kind of pricey, but for a special occasion, like a girl’s night in, I don’t mind the expense.  And, it’s way cheaper to buy them and cook them yourself than it is to order them at a restaurant.  And, then you can drink a bottle (or 2?) of your own affordable wine rather than a restaurant’s marked up wine. So invite a friend over, pop open some wine, hand her a spoon to stir the risotto, and enjoy a girl’s night in!

Seared Scallops: This recipe serves 2 adults, double it if you’re serving 4.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1/2 lb of dry sea scallops or about 8 scallops
  • 2 teaspoons of butter
  • 2 teaspoons of olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • white pepper
  • 1/2 lemon

What To Do:

  1. Thoroughly dry the scallops, salt and pepper them on both sides.
  2. Add the butter and olive oil to a saute pan on high heat.
  3. Once the butter/oil begins to smoke, gently add the scallops.
  4. Sear the scallops for 1 1/2 minute on each side.
  5. Once done, the scallops should have a nice brown sear on each side.
  6. Deglaze the pan with another few pats of butter and the juice from 1/2 the lemon or some dry white wine.
  7. Serve on top of the lemon risotto.

Lemon Risotto: Makes 2 generous adult servings, double the amounts to serve 4.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 cup of arborio rice
  • 1/2 of a large white or yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, put through press
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • pinch of crushed red pepper
  • 1 quart of chicken stock, brought to a simmer
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1/2 cup of grated parmigiana reggiano
  • 1/2 cup of finely chopped flat leaf parsley

What To Do:

  1. Bring the stock to a simmer in a medium stock pot.
  2. On a nearby burner, place a large saute pan and place it on medium heat.
  3. Add the olive oil, and once it is warm, add the diced onion. Saute over medium heat for 2 minutes then add the garlic, lemon zest, and crushed red pepper flakes. Saute for another minute then add the rice.
  4. Saute the rice for a minute then add a few ladles of broth, stirring.  Once the broth is absorbed, add another few ladles. Continue to stir and add broth. Until the rice is tender and all of the broth has been absorbed.
  5. Add the grated parmigiana and parsley.
  6. Top with scallops and the deglazed pan juice.



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