Lemon Pea Risotto with Seared Scallops

Photo Credit: Pippa Biddle

Photo Credit: Pippa Biddle

Risotto, a favorite of many a foodie. For some reason a rumor has gotten out that making risotto is hard. It is a bit of an arm workout but once you understand the basic concepts that go into making a risotto you have a blank canvas on which to layer flavors. Duck and mushroom is a winter favorite of mine. However, that’s not a combination that screams SPRING! When I was at Whole Foods picking up this weeks groceries I saw some fabulous sea scallops. I love scallops seared with butter and lemon. Why not combine that with a creamy risotto? Challenge accepted.

When buying sea scallops make sure that they are thick, white, and in one piece. Don’t be afraid to point to the ones you want and turn down ones you think look bad. Some people cut scallops in half width-wise before cooking (Gordon Ramsey’s Hells Kitchen Show, I’m scowling at you). I think this is cheating both the scallop and the eater. Yes, they are expensive. But, if you keep them thick you only need 4-5 per portion for an entree and they come out caramelized on the outside and juicy on the inside. The moment you slice them the chance of overcooking while trying to reach that perfect color on the outside skyrockets. Just don’t do it. Please.

As per usual, I cook for myself (plus some for lunch the next day) so if you are cooking for a bigger group of people just scale the recipe. If you have any questions about this just comment below!

Lemon Pea Risotto w. Seared Scallops (for 1) 

  • 1 cup + a few tablespoons chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup rice
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas, defrosted
  • 4-5 Sea Scallops, patted dry
  • 1/4-1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
  1. Melt 1 tbsp butter over low/medium heat in a medium saucepan. Add rice and stir, toasting the rice.
  2. After about 1 minute gradually add broth a few tbsp at a time. Stir constantly and add more broth each time the liquid is absorbed by the rice. Turn down the heat if the mixture starts to bubble.
  3. Continue adding broth until the rice is creamy and the grains are tender but not mushy (this should take 10-15 minutes). Stir in peas.
  4. Stir in juice of 1/2 a lemon, 1/4 cup parmesan, and season with salt and pepper. Taste, and add more parmesan is desired. There should be a strong lemon flavor.
  5. Remove from heat and cover.
  6. Melt remaining butter in a skillet over medium/high heat. Sear scallops on both sides, flipping as few times as possible.
  7. Serve scallops over risotto with a wedge of lemon.
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